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Red Wings evening stuff: On Chris Osgood’s health, Adam Almqvist’s signing, Modano charity news

Updated with news about former Wing Mike Modano making a charity appearance in the Dallas area on Saturday: Via RedWingsFeed, there’s good news on the Chris Osgood front from the the Sporting News’s Craig Custance. The Red Wings’ back-up netminder is apparently healthy and

“He’s 100 percent healthy. He’s never felt better. He was ready to go at the end of the season,” Thompson told Sporting News.

Since the playoffs aren’t an ideal time to return to action after an extended absence, the Red Wings opted to go with Joey MacDonald as the backup behind Jimmy Howard during Detroit’s playoff run. Thompson is planning on meeting with Osgood on Tuesday to discuss his future and play some golf.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland said he expects to hear from Osgood in the next week or two regarding his possible retirement plans.

“He’s going through the internal process to decide if he has the energy and the desire and determination to play hockey again,” Holland said. “In the middle of June, we’ll look at the goalies that are out there, we’re going to try and figure out a way to be the best team that we can.”

As Custance points out, while Holland knows that his team’s youth has to be served eventually, he’s not exactly planning on letting players who Mike Babcock suggests are “vested in the company” go for change’s sake:

“I don’t want to transition six guys in one summer. You want to slowly, methodically do it because the veteran players have such an important role on our team,” Holland said. “You can’t just race these people out the door and think you’re going to bring in a bunch of new players and all of a sudden we’re going to go out with the Red Wings wheel and that’s the Detroit Red Wings.”

As long as Osgood really is healthy, the Wings will probably stick with him as it’s hard to go out and find a 400-game-winning goaltender who’s comfortable serving as a younger goaltender’s back-up and mentor.

The Wings did make one move with their eye on the future in sighing HV71 defenseman and mighty mite Adam Almqvist to a 3-year, entry-level contract. I’m a little confused regarding the Wings’ plans for him, however, because the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan and Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema have suggested that Almqvist will play in Grand Rapids, and Almqvist himself told Jnutt.se’s Daniel Hultqvist that he wants to remain the Swedish eliteserien for at least one more season, as Hultqvist reminds us:

Adam Almqvist, who was picked by the Red Wings in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, 210th overall, said in a previous interview with Jnytt that he wants to still play for HV71 during the upcoming season, and doesn’t want to end up on the Wings’ farm team, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

“Yes, I’ll [eventually] go over. I want to play for at least another year in the Eliteserien so I can continue to grow. I must get stronger, so I need to gain a few kilos and I’m training hard now to do so. It’s both their desire and mine that I remain here so that I can continue to develop. Then we’ll see when I’m ready to take the plunge,” says Adam Almqvist.

As the Free Press’s George Sipple notes, Almqvist’s signing laves the Wings with one more prospect to sign before Tuesday:

The Wings had until June 1 to sign Almqvist, a seventh-round draft pick in 2009, or they would have lost their rights to him. The Wings still haven’t signed forward Andrej Nestrasil, the 75th overall pick in the 2009 draft.

Wings assistant coach Jim Nill said last week that Almqvist has “hockey sense as good as anybody” and just needs to get stronger. He also said that Almqvist, 20, would continue to play in the Swedish Elite League next season with HV71, which has won back-to-back regular season titles.

He’s definitely staying in Sweden. He’s not big or strong enough to come over (he’s very very very generously listed at 176 pounds) and there’s no purpose in rushing his transition to the AHL when he’s playing with a perennial contender in HV.

Update: Per NBC Dallas-Fort Worth‘s Bruce Felps:

Mike Modano might have had a disappointing season with the hated-but-respected Detroit Red Wings — a sliced wrist and missing 41 games with do that for an NHLer — but he’s back in North Texas with a willingness to help others.

Saturday from noon-2 p.m., he’ll be at the Whole Foods Market location in Fairview, Texas, in The Village at Fairview just outside McKinney, and I’m thinking the town is the shopping center or vice versa.

[H]is appearance there is part of a benefit, run by Crazy Water, for Oklahoma tornado victims.
Crazy Water will give away bottles of its product. You can take said product and go along your merry way or you can have the bottle autographed by Modano for a donation to tornado-victims aid — at least $2, please. He’ll also sign one, and only one, other item for an additional donation.

Crazy Water will match the donations in an equivalent amount of water and drive them off to Oklahoma. P.S. — The driver will be Modano’s wife, Willa Ford.

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As long as Osgood really is healthy, the Wings will probably stick with him as it’s hard to go out and find a 400-game-winning goaltender who’s comfortable serving as a younger goaltender’s back-up and mentor.

I’d settle for a goalie, young or old, who has looked like an NHL-calibre goalie for the last two years.

Sure, he’s a 400-game winner now, but when he’s 92 he’ll still be a 400-game winner, but it doesn’t mean he should be playing in the NHL then either…

for change’s sake

I like that not re-signing someone who hasn’t been a capable backup, much less starter, for the last two years is considered change for the sake of change and not, oh I don’t know, change for the sake of making the team better.

Posted by Garth on 05/27/11 at 11:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m torn about the concept of bringing Osgood back versus either simply going with Joey MacDonald or finding another back-up, but at this point, it sounds like the team would rather have Osgood mentor Howard for another season, and I can’t argue with their philosophy. It would probably mean keeping MacDonald on retainer in case he’s needed.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/27/11 at 11:35 PM ET


Then ask him to retire and make him a goalie coach.

I would just like to see how Howard acquits himself with a backup capable of making 25 starts, to have a little less pressure to be a Kiprusoff/Brodeur-type goalie and to not have the team have to worry about what kind of performance they’ll get in net if Howard doesn’t start.

Posted by Garth on 05/28/11 at 12:17 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’ll never say ill of Ozzie, I liked him in 98 as much as I like him now.  I think he would be a fine backup goalie this year if we’re ready to give Howard 65 games a year.  But the fact is, Howard’s numbers have suffered because of the load we’re putting on him.  Sure he gets the wins but his GAA and Save % could be better.  He’s just not ready for that amount of work.

It may be best to bring Ozzie in as a goalie coach and find a #1b to play 25 games or so, take the load off of Howard so he can be fresh for his games and up his stats to the level they should be at.

If Ozzie does retire, he deserves a freaking statue or something.  Just not one done by that dude who did Gordie’s.  Sheesh that thing is ugly.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 05/28/11 at 05:54 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Just not one done by that dude who did Gordie’s.  Sheesh that thing is ugly.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 05/28/11 at 03:54 AM ET

Although not an artist, I allow that artsy people often have some sort of vision or feel for some style, but I never got that, never liked it, but I’ve accepted it as part of the Joe, for whatever it’s worth.  Maybe it’s trying to show action or motion, but damn.

Posted by RWBill on 05/28/11 at 10:54 AM ET

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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.