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Wings retain Osgood as goalie consultant

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
Three-time Stanley Cup champion Chris Osgood is hanging up the pads and calling it a career.

Osgood, 38, announced his retirement on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. He leaves the NHL with 401 career victories, including 317 with the Red Wings. Only Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk won more games with Detroit (352) than Osgood, who won the Stanley Cup twice as a starter (1998, 2008) and once as a backup (1997).

Detroit GM Ken Holland also announced that Osgood is staying with the organization as a goalie consultant and will help mentor the Red Wings' goaltending prospects, including 2008 first-round pick Thomas McCollum.

Osgood reportedly told Holland in May that he was hoping to return as a backup to Jimmy Howard for one more season, but the Wings were concerned about going into the 2011-12 season with a No. 2 goalie coming off a sports hernia surgery in January that ended his 2010-11 season prematurely.

Holland and Osgood met face to face in Vernon, B.C., this past weekend and the conversation obviously led to the conclusion that the Wings were going to go in a different direction and Osgood was going to retire.

The Wings currently have Joey MacDonald as the No. 2 goalie on their depth chart, but they are in the market for a more proven backup and Ty Conklin reportedly is on their short list. MacDonald is signed to a two-way contract, so he can drop to No. 3 on the depth chart and begin the season in Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.

Osgood's 401 career victories rank 10th all-time in the NHL, two behind ex-Edmonton great and Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr. Osgood likely will get some support for induction in the Hall of Fame when he's eligible in three years.

He appeared in 744 games over a 17-season career and posted a 2.49 goals-against average, .905 save percentage and 50 shutouts. Osgood was even better in the postseason with a 74-49 record, 2.09 GAA, .916 save percentage and 15 shutouts in 129 games. He's fourth all-time in postseason shutouts.
He won 16 games with a .918 save percentage to lead the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 1998. Osgood replaced an ineffective Dominik Hasek early in the 2008 playoffs and won 14 games to lead Detroit to the 11th Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

Along with playing 565 games as a Red Wing, Osgood also suited up for 103 for the Islanders and another 76 for the Blues from 2001-04. He returned to Detroit after the work stoppage, altered his style to become more of a butterfly goalie and flourished for several more seasons.

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