DETROIT -- Chris Osgood, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings in 1997, 1998 and 2008, announced today that he will retire from the National Hockey League after 17 seasons. Osgood played in 744 career games with the Red Wings, New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues. He finishes his career 4th all-time among NHL goaltenders with 15 postseason shutouts, 8th all-time with 74 playoff wins and 10th all-time with 401 regular-season wins.
Osgood, 38, was Detroit’s third-round selection (54th overall) in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He played his first NHL game on October 15, 1993 at Toronto and earned his first career victory just 12 days later with a 23-save performance in an 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Peace River, Alberta, native went on to play in 565 regular-season games over 14 seasons in Detroit, notching 317 wins and 39 shutouts in a Red Wings sweater, trailing only the legendary Terry Sawchuk in both categories (351 wins, 85 shutouts). He is Detroit’s all-time leader in postseason appearances by a goaltender (110), and holds the franchise records for playoff wins (67) and playoff shutouts (14).
Osgood enjoyed a breakout season in 1995-96, his third NHL campaign. The 5-10, 175 lb. netminder led the NHL with 39 wins and finished as the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender (Jim Carey, Washington). He played in his first NHL All-Star Game on January 20 in Boston and later that year became just the second goaltender in NHL history to shoot and score a goal, tallying into an empty net at the 19:49 mark of the third period in a 4-2 win over the Hartford Whalers on March 6. He also won the 1996 William M. Jennings Trophy (with teammate Mike Vernon) allowing the fewest goals against in the NHL and was named a second team NHL All-Star.
After watching Vernon lead Detroit to the 1997 Stanley Cup title with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Osgood would get his first taste of postseason success as a starting goaltender in 1998 when he backstopped the Red Wings to their second consecutive championship, appearing in 22 postseason games and finishing with a 16-6 record, a 2.12 GAA and two shutouts. The Red Wings swept the Washington Capitals to lay claim to the ninth Stanley Cup in team history.
After eight seasons with the Red Wings, Osgood was placed on waivers following Detroit’s acquisition of goaltender Dominik Hasek from the Buffalo Sabres on July 1, 2001. He was claimed by the New York Islanders and went on to play 103 games in an Islanders uniform over two seasons, posting a 49-39-10 record and collecting six shutouts. On March 11, 2003 the Islanders moved Osgood to St. Louis in a trade deadline deal. He would play 76 games for the Blues, compiling a 35-28-10 record and five shutouts.
Osgood rejoined the Red Wings in the summer of 2005, signing with Detroit as a free-agent on August 8. He served two seasons as a backup upon his return, first to Manny Legace and then to Hasek, before leading the NHL with a 2.09 GAA in 2007-08 and being named the starting goaltender for the Western Conference at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta. He combined with Hasek to win his second William M. Jennings Trophy that year, but despite his stellar regular-season, Osgood once again found himself in the backup role when the 2008 playoffs began.
He proved ready when called upon in Game 4 of Detroit’s first-round series against the Nashville Predators and with the series tied 2-2, was named the starter for a crucial Game 5 at Joe Louis Arena. Osgood helped Detroit string together nine consecutive victories and the crafty veteran would go on to post a 14-4 record, a sparkling 1.55 GAA and three shutouts over the course of the 2008 postseason. Detroit defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the Stanley Cup finals and Osgood captured the third title of his career.
After a subpar regular-season in 2008-09, Osgood would once again save his best for last, leading Detroit to within a game of the Stanley Cup as the Red Wings dropped a rematch with the Penguins in seven games. He finished the 2009 postseason with a 15-8 record, 2.01 GAA and two shutouts.
Last season, Osgood became the 10th goaltender in NHL history to record 400 wins with an acrobatic 46-save performance in a 4-3 OT win over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. He would play in what proved to be his final NHL game on January 4, 2011, making 22 saves in a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.
Osgood will remain with the Red Wings organization in a yet to be named position within the team’s front office. In his new role, Osgood will be responsible for the development of young goaltenders within Detroit’s system, as well as scouting netminders throughout the professional, junior and college ranks.