Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Revisiting Osgood to "The Hall" Argument

1) When we were last asking this question a little over a year ago at this time the wizard-of-osgood was on his way to his 3rd Stanley Cup (2nd as a starter). At that time we discussed the placement of Chris Osgood among the all time best goalies, etc. At the time we came to the conclusion that even if he won another Cup (he did) we still wouldn't place him among the elite or even vote for him to enter the Hall of fame. Our arguments at the time were:

  • His non Detroit numbers were quite ordinary. His non-Detroit win-loss numbers are a quite pedestrian 84-67. Not bad, but hardly Hall of Fame material

  • He has NEVER won a single Vezina trophy as the best goalie, nor even been nominated for that matter.

  • He has never been selected to the end of season NHL First Team All Star Team (second once)

  • Osgood’s career save percentage of 90.6 is very average compared to today’s elite goalies

2) However we have to now alter that opinion somewhat. Actually IF Chris wins yet another Cup we will be right up front and say that he should be elected to the Hall, some might even say he'd be a first ballot entry? For instance:If the Osgood led Wings win another Cup (7 wins away as of this post)

  • He'll be going into his 15th NHL season

  • Osgood will have 4 rings (3 as a starter) As many as Roy, and more than Brodeur.

  • He will have 75 playoff wins. That's 7th all-time! 14 shut outs, (4th all time)

  • He will be closing in on 400 regular season wins (389)10th all-time and has 49 shut outs. With even a poor season next year he will still likely be 8th all time before the season is over!

3) Compare those stats with other Hall of Famers (or presumed HOFers) who have preceded him and it appears Chris has a valid argument to allow him to enter those hallowed halls once his career is over.

  • Billy Smith: 305 wins(.882 save %) 88 playoff wins(4th all time)-4 Cups 1 Vezina. 1 Con smyth. 1 First team all star

  • Grant Fuhr: 403 wins. 92 playoff wins. (5 Cups) 1 Vezina. 1 first team Allstar

  • Ed Giacomin: 289 wins. (54 shut outs) 29 playoff wins. (No Cups) 2 Vezinas. 2 First team Allstar.

  • Curtis Joseph:454 wins (51 shut outs) .904 save % 63 playoff wins (No Cups). No Vezinas, No First team all stars

4) That all said we still believe that reputation may be what keeps him out. Recognition by your peers and by those who covered your era matters. The Vezina goes to the best goalie, the Conn Smythe goes to the Playoff MVP, etc. One of the reasons we believe Osgood will possibly never be inducted into the Hall is that he lacks this recognition or this kind of reputation among his peers, the multiple Cups not withstanding. However if one believes that CUJo is deserving then Osgood HAS to get in as well. Especially since he'll have at least 3 championship rings (possibly 4) on his fingers to CuJo's ZERO. In the end Ozzy may be the best goalie NOT enshrined. (Unless you're a big Tom Barrasso fan. ; ) With each passing season it becomes harder and harder to deny what he has accomplished. We are now believers that he belongs!


Tom said...

"Reputation"??? Osgood is simply nowhere near a GOOD enough goalie to deserve enshrinement. Reputation has less to do with it than simply watching him play and realizing he's not even in the top 10 in any given year. He's never even been *nominated* for a Vezina!

Consider: a goalie is voted into the HoF roughly one time per 3-5 years. Currently NOT in the Hall are Brodeur, Hasek, Belfour and Joseph -- all considered light-years beyond Osgood in terms of excellence at the position.

It will likely take about 15 years to get all four of those guys in. By that time, we will be seeing retirments from the current generation of elites. They will instantly jump past Osgood on the list, making it impossible to elect Ozzie without snubbing a *much* more worthy player at another position (for example, Brian Leetch or Luc Robitaille).

Osgood is fortunate to have played in Detroit during their dynastic years, but wins alone don't qualify a goalie for the Hall. The reason Cujo will get in is that he singlehandedly changed the course of entire franchises throughout his career; Osgood has simply held the fort.


1) Tom: Your opinion is common and understandable. We do disagree that it wioll take many years for Brodeur, Hasek, Belfour to get in the Hall. The first 2 especially should be first ballot entries once eligiable. Befour certainly soon there after.
2) As for Joseph, his issues and Osgoods are interesting. Cujo never won a Vezina, NOR did he ever help his team win a Cup. His win totals are impressive, but in the end so will Osgood,s WITH 3, possibly 4 Cups to his resume. It will be difficult to shut him out with those stats.

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