July 19, 2011

HHOF Worthy? Chris Osgood

When Chris Osgood announced his retirement, I asked the question is Chris Osgood going to make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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:
  1. Martin Brodeur - 625 (still active)
  2. Patrick Roy - 551
  3. Ed Belfour - 484
  4. Curtis Joseph - 454
  5. Terry Sawchuk - 447
  6. Jacques Plante - 437
  7. Tony Esposito - 423
  8. Glenn Hall - 407 
  9. Grant Fuhr - 403
  10. Chris Osgood - 400 (still active)
That is some pretty impressive company. In fact, 8 of the 9 goalies mentioned are either Hall of Famers (with Brodeur a lock upon becoming eligible upon retirement).

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.


Bruno said...

I really think Ozzie deserves a place at hall of fame, he's been playing all these years on the REd Wings net, and did his best. He's not a great goalie like Roy, Hasek, but he worked hard, won 3 stanley cups, for me it's enough to put his name there !!

Moné Peterson said...

A friend of mine and I were just talking about him today. I agree he doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame. If he doesn't wind up with Detroit, he doesn't sniff 400 wins or backstop two Stanley Cups (yes, he was around for a third, but Vernon was given the nod in part because they didn't trust Ozzie yet). He'd basically be remembered as Felix Potvin with more longevity.

On the other hand, if the Wings had won Game Seven in 2009, that probably boosts his chances a lot, doesn't it? The Hall has turned back a couple of two-time Stanley Cup winning goaltenders, but three? Just something to think about.

Jeff Francis said...

He wasn't on the team when Vernon won it in 97. He was the Back up when Hasek won it in 02. Then he won it as the starter in 08 when Hasek was the Back Up. This comment is for Mone!

Tom VerVac said...

This is the most laughable debate ever made. The man is the 10th most winning goalie EVER! I don't care if he played on all those great teams. Maybe they were great because he was part of those teams! People think it's easy playing goalie for the Wings. You try standing around while the Wings carry the play in the other end for minutes on end only to be left hanging out to dry when they cough up a 2 or 3 on 1 and you have to make the save. Ozzie did that better than anyone. Also you don't end up with 50 shutouts in te NHL if your not any good. He also had 30+ win seasons with the Islanders & Blues and took them both to the playoffs while he was there who's done that since? Oh Jeff Francis in 97 he shared goal tending duties with Vernon during the regular season check his stats! Also won it 98 himself. He deserves the Hall and some respect!