The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/20/11 at 01:13 AM ET
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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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.