Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood retired today after 17 seasons in the NHL. Now comes what is sure to be a great and very hostile arguement over Osgoods hall of fame chances. I will give you all my opinion at the end of this blog but I am going to make a list of reasons why he should be in the hall of fame and reasons he should not be. Without further ado here are the reasons Chris Osgood SHOULD be in the hall of fame:
Numbers- Chris Osgood has 401 wins which makes him the 10th and last goalie for at least a couple years to achieve that milestone. 7 of the 10 goalies with 400 wins are in the hall of fame the other two are Martin Brodeur (which will be 8 out of 10) Curtis Joseph is the other goalie with 400 wins who is not in the hall of fame yet but he is not eligible until I believe 2013. Chris Osgood is also 24th in regular season Goals Against Average ahead of hall of famers such as Grant Fuhr who made the hall of fame in 2003 with a 3.38 Goals Against Average, also Ed Belfour who made the hall of fame this year, and Billy Smith who had 96 fewer wins then Chris Osgood as well as 3.17 goals against average compared to Ozzie's 2.492 GAA.
One of the knocks against Chris Osgood is he played with a great team in the Detroit Red Wings. In 2001-2002 season Chris Osgood was picked up by the New York Islanders when the Red Wings signed Dominik Hasek. After leaving the Red Wings he played a year and a half with the Islanders and a year and a half with the Blues. In his 1 full season with the Islanders the Islanders had a 44 point turnaround and missed the division title by 1 point , Ozzie played 66 games going 32-25-6 (ties) with a 2.50 goals against average. The more impressive stat is he led the Islanders to the playoffs being one win away from advancing to the 2nd round in 01-02, and he had a 2.60 goals against average in the series against Toronto.
In Osgood's first full season in St. Louis he went 31-25-8 with a outstanding 2.24 goals against average while the Blues made the playoffs in that year as well.
Cups- Chris Osgood has 3 Stanley cup rings 2 as a starter and 1 in 1996-1997 the year the Wings won while he was a backup.
I have always believed that if Chris Osgood did not play in 07-08 against the Nashville Predators the Red Wings would have lost to the Preds in the first round, it is also my believe that Ozzie won the Wings the cup that year.
Now the reasons why Ozzie SHOULD NOT be in the hall of fame:
Wings always trying to get rid of him- Whether it was Mike Vernon, Dominik Hasek twice, Manny Legace and finally Jimmy Howard it always seemed like the Wings were trying to get rid of Osgood; like they did not trust him to WIN them a cup.
Great team in front of him- Had the honor of playing with Nicklas Lidstrom his whole career and all the other great Wings that have played there so that is why he has most of his wins.
Never really put fear into the opposing team- Hasek, Brodeur and Roy all had opposing teams worried about how they were going to beat them, where as Ozzie teams were never scared to play the Wings because of Ozzie.
Now my opinion if Ozzie is a hall of famer:
The answer in my humble opinion is No and there are 2 reasons why. It is not that Ozzie was blessed playing for great teams, it is not that the Wings seemingly never trusted him to win the cup. The first reason I say no is and it is no fault of Osgood's is the time he played in. Let me explain Osgood had the curse of playing in the same era as definitly 2 of the 3 best goalies ever in Roy and Brodeur. Then when Roy retired and Brodeur is getting up there in age now, Ozzie is now in a league with up and coming goalies like Luongo, Miller, Quick, Lundqvist, and a resurgent Tim Thomas. Ozzie has always been overshadowed and I believe that hurts him the most that the voters will say and I agree with them on this It is the Hall of Fame not the Hall of Very Good. Sadly as much as I love Ozzie i think he was just a very good goalie not hall of fame.
Finally something my buddy tells me all the time when we get in conversations about the hall of fame that I find very true is "IF THERE IS A DEBATE THEN THE ANSWER IS NO" and there obviously is a debate about Ozzie.
Thank you for reading my blog feel free to comment in the comment box below good opinions or bad opinions. In my next blog I will talk about what I was going to talk about today and that was the Top 10 forwards of All Time. Have a great week!