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Is Chris Osgood a Hall-of-Fame-worthy goalie? He’s the fans’ goalie, and that’s all that matters

The debate came up again and earned its usual amount of passionate and all-too-partisan (at least in terms of the people who can’t stand the man because he stuck around like a bad penny) arguments: now that he’s retired, can we truly say for certain whether Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood is a Hockey Hall-of-Fame-caliber goaltender?

At the risk of sounding incredibly insensitive within 24 hours of the end of one goalie’s fantastic career, I genuinely don’t believe that it matters. Chris Osgood won 401 games, 3 Stanley Cups, left the Wings and came back to become good friends with the man who replaced him in 2001 and mentored the man who’s succeeded him, and all along the way, he was the fans’ goalie, to the point that when he retired, Chris Osgood stated that the people who made the biggest difference in his career were the people who cheered for him on and off the ice.

Neither the championships he’s won nor the legacy he’s created—and will continue to create as he mentors the Wings’ next generation of goaltenders (and I can’t stress enough what his status as a consultant and player mentor means in the “good news department” for someone like Thomas McCollum)—nor the fans who will continue to chant, “Ozzie, Ozzie” regardless of whether he’s deemed one of hockey’s immortals or a player worthy of having his number raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena or wherever the Wings end up playing one day…Really care. It doesn’t matter what the critics have said or will say about Chris Osgood. It never has and it never will. It’s about what Osgood and his fans think, and he cemented his status as a member of our Hall of Fame a long, long time ago.

Update: If you’re interested, the Wings posted the audio of Osgood’s retirement presser:

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Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood officially retires

Updated 5x at 2:25 PM: Per the conference call Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood and GM Ken Holland are conducting with the media, Osgood is officially retiring. He will mentor the team’s young goalies and help the team’s amateur scouts evaluate potential draft picks…

Update #1: Holland says they’ll sign a back-up goalie by the end of the week.

Update #2: Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account, the highlights of the conference call (I posted tons of commentary as well but my entries aren’t succinct)—take note of the fact that Osgood said that the most important people in his career were Red Wings fans:

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Chris Osgood talk becomes ‘of course the Red Wings goalie’s to retiring’; on Datsyuk’s hockey camp

We’re only a few minutes away from a conference call in which Red Wings GM Ken Holland and one Chris Osgood will tell the media whether #30 wishes to return, and on the heels of last night’s “sources”-based suggestions that Osgood will retire, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan and even the Free Press’s Helene St. James are reporting that Osgood will retire, and even the Red Wings’ website posted an NHL.com-sourced “report” that Osgood will hang ‘em up.

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So which is it? Red Wings’ press corps split as to whether Osgood will retire or return

Updated with some “overnight report” stuff at 5:18 AM: Oh, boy.  The Free Press’s Helene St. James believes that the Red Wings will announce that Chris Osgood is returning for at least one more season in the Red Wings’ net, and that makes sense to me given that the Wings haven’t signed anyone else already [edit: and NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman’s citing a “report” suggesting that St. James is correct,] but the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan reports that Osgood’s agent was taken by surprise when told that the team will hold a conference call today to announce Osgood’s plans….

The Red Wings have announced a teleconference call for noon today with general manager Ken Holland and goalie Chris Osgood . Neither returned phone calls or text messages Monday. Rollie Thompson, Osgood’s agent, was in the dark, too.

“I came back from my cottage, turned on the computer, and saw there was a news conference for (today),” Thompson said. “It’s all news to me.”

Thompson said he texted Osgood Monday evening and was told Osgood was “meeting with Kenny.” Thompson said he has spoken to Holland in recent weeks, but has yet to discuss any sort of contract issues regarding Osgood.

And both Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner, MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Plieness, citing “sources” and their conversations with Thompson, insist that Osgood’s going to retire:

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Red Wings Alumni Association president Shawn Burr bests leukemia

Pretty remarkable news via Fox 2’s Jennifer Hammond: Red Wings Alumni Association President Shawn Burr has, at least for the present moment, anyway, bested leukemia:

It was the day after Presidents’ Day that former Red Wing Shawn Burr’s life was changed forever. Ever since February 22nd, 2011 Burr no longer takes the little things for granted. Nor does he worry about material things that once seemed significant. That’s because he’s been to the other side of hell and back after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease, which Burr playfully admits he didn’t even bother learning to spell.

Shawn Burr’s Battle: MyFoxDETROIT.com


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Doing the combat math: Red Wings not signing a goalie + #30 available = Osgood redux

Okay, so the Red Wings announced that they would hold a conference call featuring Chris Osgood, GM Ken Holland and the media at 12 PM EDT tomorrow via their Twitter feed, and after I blathered about it via my first penned-while-in-the-car-on-my-phone blog entry, Bill beat me to the punch while I was stuck in Wal-Mart (vacations must be preceded by vacation clothes shopping with the 61-year-old parent who loses track of time), noting that the Free Press’s Helene St. James posited the following:

The Red Wings have scheduled a conference call for Tuesday to announce goaltender Chris Osgood will be back for another season.

Osgood, 38, spent much of last season injured, unable to play past January after undergoing sports hernia surgery. The Wings explored bringing in a new backup goaltender when free agency began July 1, including making an offer to Tomas Vokoun, but were unable to find anyone. That prompted them to reconsider Osgood.

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Red Wings to hold presser with Chris Osgood, Ken Holland at 12 PM on Tuesday

Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account:

The Red Wings have scheduled a media conference call with Chris Osgood and Ken Holland at noon tomorrow.

So he’ll retire or he won’t…either way we will know by tomorrow at this time.

Update: The Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Osgood will return for at least one more season.

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Red Wings mid-day stuff: Datsyuk’s hockey camp begins

Very cool news from the Hockey News’s Rory Boylen: Boylen’s covering Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk’s annual summer hockey camp in his hometown of Ekaterinburg, Russia this week, and if Boylen’s first missive from the camp is any indication, he’ll be providing us more than just a welcome distraction from the imminent Chris Osgood/Kris Draper-paying-future-drama-in-progress* stuff:

For the fourth year, the PD13 Hockey School will be hosted by No. 13 on the Red Wings and run by a collection of instructors with various backgrounds in the sport. You’ll meet them all in this space at some point during the week as we follow the inner-workings at the kids’ camp for players aged eight to 12 that runs Monday to Friday. We’ll also give you an inside peek at Pavel Datsyuk the person, but for now, how in the heck did this North American-designed camp sprout up so far from home?

It all started on a Detroit Red Wings plane trip a few years ago when Datsyuk approached Jay Woodcroft, then a coach with the Wings and currently an assistant with the San Jose Sharks. Datsyuk knew of a hockey camp Jay and his brother, Todd (an L.A. Kings scout), ran in Belarus and wanted to take that approach in his hometown to give something back to the community.

“He wanted to expose the kids in Ekaterinburg to a different style of coaching, to the North American style,” Jay Woodcroft said.

That North American style is all about fun and a positive attitude. It’s not something common in these circles, so it provides a unique experience for the kids. A lot of them are making repeat appearances and the glow in their faces as they arrived, recognized and ran up to greet their North American instructors tells you all you need to know about the impact this experience has had on them. It’s a reaction Datsyuk is proud to have helped create.

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Red Wings overnight report: Three stages of prospect camper’s careers

This morning we look at three prospects who’ve attended the Red Wings’ summer development camps who happen to find themselves at very different stages of their careers.

2011 2nd-round draft pick and Soo Greyhounds defenseman Ryan Sproul spent the better part of his first three weeks as a Wings prospect at the team’s development camp in Traverse City, and the “wow factor” hasn’t worn off yet for Sproul, who spoke to the Sault Star’s Peter Ruicci on Sunday afternoon:

After going through fitness testing in Detroit July 6, Wings hopefuls were bussed to Traverse City. There, they spent eight days working out both on and off ice. Focused on developing their prospects skills, the Wings placed an emphasis on power skating, stickhandling and rigorous practice sessions. Players scrimmaged only twice.

“Some of the little things we learned were incredible,” Sproul said. “They’ll really help me in the future.”

Former Wings defenceman Jiri Fischer, who went into cardiac arrest during a 2005 NHL game and was subsequently forced to retire from the sport, made an immediate impact on Sproul. Fischer, now 29, is the Wings director of player development.

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Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is NOT ‘jimmyhoward32’ on Twitter

Via RedWingsFeed on Twitter, which happens to have created a very official list (to the point that it’s Twitter-approved and has a secure “https” address) of the Detroit Red Wings’ players and prospects who take part in “Tweeting,” but Jimmy Howard is not one of them. Someone pretending to be Howard claimed to have a Twitter account this past weekend, but that person is not in fact Howard, as the Red Wings’ goalie told the Portland Press-Herald’s Rachel Lenzi:

Saturday morning, Jimmy Howard’s phone wouldn’t stop chirping. He wondered if he’d gotten traded. He wondered if something happened. But when he finally got in touch with a member of the Detroit Red Wings public relations staff, they only had one question for him: “Are you on Twitter?”

Short answer? No.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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