The Chris Osgood Debate


Chris Osgood: good, but was he great? AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

One of the rituals of retirement in any sport is for a retiree to be examined for his Hall of Fame credentials.  Chris Osgood has retired, and he certainly has a had a career worthy of such speculation, with 3 Stanley Cup victories, 401 wins, and 15 playoff shutouts.  His career numbers make it all the more curious why doubters insist on questioning Osgood’s resume.

The debate mainly circles around the importance of statistics when looking back at a goalie’s career.  If a HoF voter would only look at the number of wins and Stanley Cups, he would be a shoe-in for Toronto.  However, hockey fans would notice that Osgood was never an elite goalie during his career.

Osgood was not the dominating goalie of the 90s, with the likes of Roy, Brodeur, Joseph, and Hasek.  Even Ed Belfour was better in his prime.  Osgood never recorded a save percentage in a season at or above .920.  He will probably be remembered most for the half-rink goal he gave up to Jamie Langenbrunner and his boring helmet than any single season accomplishment.

People would also remember when Red Wings GM Ken Holland placed Osgood on waivers in the prime of his career after Detroit acquired Dominik Hasek.  Ask any Detroit fan, and it would seem, especially at the end of his career, that Osgood was just one bad goal away from being dealt out the Motor City.

His finest moment was with Detroit with ’08, when he seemingly willed the Wings to a Cup over Pittsburgh.  Osgood was at his best in the playoffs, as the stat above shows.  He wasn’t an on and off goalie like others: he was incredbily consistent from the beginning to the end of his career.  You always knew he would give 100% every night.  He even showed he was a team player when he relinquished his starting job to Jimmy Howard at the twilight of his NHL career.

Osgood always had Hall of Fame win totals and consistency, but other aspects of his game didn’t exactly vault him to elite status.  So what do you think, Panther fans?  Does Osgood deserve a place in the Hall?  Leave your comments at the bottom.

  • FrankRekas

    I think that Osgood was fortunate to play on the teams that he played on. He was never relied upon to steal games, and that is what will be his curse. Sure not many goaltenders have won 400 games, and lasted as long as he did. He just had to be good, no great, and he benefited from the teams he was on.

    Tough call on whether he gets in or not. I think that somehow he does. Doesn’t mean I agree.

  • AdamReid

    Personally, I believe any goaltender who would have spent so much time in Detroit such as Osgood could realistically post just as many wins as he did. The reality is, with the talent which was always put on the ice before him, winning a game was not difficult, as his Save Percentages over the years speak for themself. No doubt Osgood was a good goaltender, but in Detroit, any goaltender to strap on a set of pads could be great.

  • emarkman10

    Osgood was good, but not nearly good enough to be in the HHOF.

    http://toomanymenonthesite.com/2011/07/20/media-puck-ups-ozzy-in-the-hof/

  • AnetteJohnson

    @AdamReid

    So… St. Louis had a killer team? What about the islanders?

    Also we have had MANY Goalies that sucked and or didnt put up great #’s

    Were they flukes? I mean with our team any goalie should have a winning %’age right?

    What a crock.

  • AnetteJohnson

    @AdamReid

    hahaha never mind i see you were not even born till 1993. So i’m guessing your just regurgitating what you see posted on other sites. Since you would have to have ALOT of old vhs tapes lying around to even have a clue what your talking about.

  • FrankRekas

    Ask yourselves this question: In today’s game, of all the goaltenders who have played in the past 5 years, who are the first two that come to your mind that you’d want to start your team with? I doubt anyone will say Chris Osgood.

    He won all those games in spite of his play. He has played for one of the best organizations in the NHL. Hall of Fame is for great players. Marty, Patrick Roy, etc. Can you really put him in that class? I don’t think so.