With Detroit Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood annoucing his retirement on Tuesday the question begs; Is Osgood a Hall of Famer.
Based on his career numbers the answer is yes. Osgood finished with 401 wins over his 17-year career, a 2.49 save percentage, 50 regular season shutouts and 74 career playoff wins. Oh, and he just happened to win three Stanley Cup championships.
However, despite his impressive career numbers I'm going to say that Osgood does not get elected to the Hall of Fame, and here's why.
There's no doubt that Osgood came through in the clutch for the Wings on numerous occasions. After allowing a fluky goal in overtime of Game 5 of the 1998 Western Conference Finals, Osgood rebounded with a shutout in Game 6 to seal a return trip to the Finals for the Wings.
Ten years later Osgood was at it for the Wings, again. After Dominik Hasek struggled in Games 3 and 4 against the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Osgood was named the starter for Game 5 and led the Wings to nine straight victories.
After the Wings dropped Games 4 and 5 of the Western Finals against the Dallas Stars, Osgood allowed just one goal in the Wings series-clinching win in Game 6 in Dallas, and then shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Detroit went on to win the series in six games for the franchises fourth Stanley Cup victory in 11 seasons.
However, Osgood was also pushed aside by the Wings organization on several occasions. Mike Vernon was named the starter for the 1997 playoffs after splitting time with Osgood during the regular season. Vernon went on to lead the Wings to their first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years.
During the 2001 offseason, the Wings acquired Hasek from the Buffalo Sabres and subsequently left Osgood unprotected in the waiver draft where he was picked up by the New York Islanders.
Due to his poor regular season play the last several seasons, Osgood lost the starting job to Jimmy Howard during the 2009-10 season and played just 23 games last season due to injury issues.
Osgood clearly has the resume, but how many Hall of Fame goalies were benched before a Stanley Cup run, waived three years after winning a Cup, brought back to the organization and eventually losing his starting job to a rookie?
Ozzie was always one of my favorite players. I'll never forget his fight with Patrick Roy at the end of the 1998 season where Osgood was clearly outweighed and probably outmuscled, but managed to hold his own.
His ability to deal with adversity and come through in the clutch were his greatest strengths, but there are too many setbacks on his resume for me to say he is a Hall of Famer.
For his sake, I hope I'm wrong.