Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Wings Extend Osgood for Three More Seasons

by Jes

In terms of team building, the Detroit Red Wings rarely do anything wrong. The Wings are experts at bringing in the right Free Agents to compliment the talent that has been developed in-house, plus having an excellent coaching staff on hand to utilize that talent.

Now, every team is prone to have a bad day, and I believe the Wings made a bit of a boo-boo by granting Chris Osgood a 3-year contract extension.

His new deal will pay him $1.7 million next season, $1.45 million in 2009-10 and $1.1 million in 2010-11.

Normally, you'd look at the stats (19-2-1 record, 1.68AA, 93.2SV%) and be liked "Damn right I want that for a few more years!"

The problem?
1. Osgood is 35 years old, and one of the league's oldest goaltenders. He is far from his prime. At the end of this deal, he'll be qualified for an old age pension.
2. Osgood is just not that good, normally. Look at his career stats, and tell me which season is the outlier.

This season: 93.2SV%
Career: 90.8SV%

Osgood has a long string of mediocrity over his career, fluctuating between below-average and just-above average. His recent seasons have been an adventure, but certainly nothing outstanding. Osgood is really not the type of goaltender you want playing more than 25-30 games a season for you if you have true cup contention hopes.

I can see signing him for another season as the backup/1B goaltender, but 3 seasons? What happens when the clock strikes midnight and the Wings are left with a 38-year old pumpkin? Look at how Dwayne Roloson hit the wall!

OK, I realize it's not nearly the worst contract in the world, but it smacks of buying a stock when the price is near its highest.

Now, the big question is ... who will the Wings go with in the playoffs? Hasek, the oft-injured guy, or Osgood, the Cinderella goalie? Perhaps the Wings figure they can win the cup with Osgood in net, since they did it before by playing so air-tight in front of their oft-maligned netminder.

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Sorry, but you're wrong. This is a fantastic deal for the Wings.

Ozzie is better than he's ever been, having adopted and mastered the butterfly-style now. He will never be expected to carry the full load, as the Wings are planning on bringing up Jimmy Howard as soon as Hasek hits the wall, or retires, probably after this season. Ozzie will make the perfect mentor for the youngster.

That said, I would feel perfectly comfortable with Ozzie in goal for the playoffs this year, if Hasek goes down. He's been the best goalie in hockey this season.
Bargain for the Red Wings. Absolute bargain.
I'm not a big Osgood fan, but he's a good goalie as long as he's not the star with all the pressure. He knows the team, as this is his second stint here. He knows the system. He knows the pressure. Experience counts. I think Osgood is a great BACKUP goalie and this is a good signing.
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