44-Year-Old Goalie – Free Agent
Chris Osgood Contract Information:
Osgood signed a three-year extension in January 2008. It is worth $1.7 million in 2008-09, $1.45 million in 2009-10 and $1.1 million in 2010-11.
Osgood has decided to retire after 16 years in the NHL, the Detroit Free Press reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Chris Osgood.
After playing a vital role in the Wings' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008-09, Osgood faded badly last season and quickly lost his starting job to Jimmy Howard. He'll turn 38 in November and that he's only scheduled to bank $1.1 million from the Wings this season makes keeping him around as the backup to Howard more than reasonable. The concern here is that Osgood's 21 starts last season clearly showed decline (3.02 GAA, .888 save percentage), so his value even when he gets an opportunity every fourth game or isn't as high as you might think. This season will probably be his last, but Osgood's place in Red Wings history is unquestioned and he's shown a tendency throughout his career to surprise when you least expect it.
The record doesn't tell the whole story for Osgood's 2008-09 season, as he was 26-9-8 in 46 appearances despite a 3.09 GAA and .887 save percentage. That's a testament to the offensive support he received from his teammates more than anything else, but he completely turned around his game in time for the postseason, backstopping the Wings to a 15-8 record with a 2.01 GAA, .926 save percentage and two shutouts while holding the Penguins to just 13 goals over the seven-game Cup finals series. Having Conklin around during the regular season went a long way in giving Osgood an opportunity to clear his head in February and avoid being overworked, but he may not have that luxury this season with the unproven Howard opening the year as his backup. He'll turn 37 in November, so it's unlikely that he'll be as effective as he was during the playoffs if he's asked to significantly outplay last season's 44 regular season starts.
Osgood seized the opportunity to replace Dominik Hasek during the opening round series against Nashville, and proceeded to post a 14-4 record in the postseason with a 1.55 GAA and .930 save percentage. With Hasek retired, the Wings brought in Ty Conklin to serve as the backup, so Osgood figures to receive at least 50 starts this season; something he's only done twice since the 2000-01 campaign. He won't start as many games as the elite fantasy netminders, but Osgood should be strong in wins, goals against average and save percentage with an excellent corps of blueliners (and two-way forwards) skating in front of him. Those in keeper leagues should keep in mind that Jimmy Howard is still hailed as the team's netminder of the future, while Osgood's recent three-year extension has a progressively shrinking annual salary.
He'll caddy for Hasek again, probably looking at 25-30 starts. In short, Osgood is one of the few backups worth carrying in medium-sized leagues, mostly because of the talent of his teammates, not what he brings to the table.
Osgood was one of the better backups in the league last season with a 20-6-5 record and a 2.76 goals against average. He will probably get even more time this season backing up frail Dominik Hasek, so he could be a good late rounds pick.
Osgood entered training camp as the probable starter in goal, but now a groin injury is thrown into the mix and his status is less clear. Manny Legace and newcomer Jimmy Holland will make a run at his job in September, and we might not have a good handle on the situation until October or later. Osgood becomes a risk-reward pick for the middle-to-late portion of your draft.