I was laughed at quite quickly and dismissively, but I was quite serious. His career numbers suggest he has to be considered. In particular I'm referring to his 3 Stanley Cup championships and his 401 career wins, which places him in the top 10 in NHL history at the time of his retirement.
Here's a look at that top 10:
- Martin Brodeur - 625 (still active)
- Patrick Roy - 551
- Ed Belfour - 484
- Curtis Joseph - 454
- Terry Sawchuk - 447
- Jacques Plante - 437
- Tony Esposito - 423
- Glenn Hall - 407
- Grant Fuhr - 403
- Chris Osgood - 400 (still active)
Osgood is like Joseph - the question mark. The knee-jerk reaction to the question does Chris Osgood belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame is a fairly firm no. Even though he won 2 of his 3 Stanley Cups as a starter with Detroit, he does not have a reputation as an elite goalie so much as a good goalie who has been around a long time with a great team.
He may lack the reputation, but with 401 wins and three Stanley Cups, he certainly has a case to be considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame. He also ranks 8th all time with 74 playoff wins and 4th all time with 15 playoff shutouts.
I do not think it will happen. The bar for goalies is set high and justly so. Tom Barrasso and Mike Vernon have been waiting a while now, and they have stronger support (public, anyways) than Ozzie. Andy Moog, Rogie Vachon, and Mike Richter also wait. With the possible exception of Barrasso, I am fine with all of them on the outside looking in - including Chris Osgood.