*Yes, that was intended to be cute.
The weird thing about looking back on the much-debated career of the now-retiring Chris Osgood, about whom I am about as passionate as his mask is colorful, is the realization that he was the third most-used Islanders goalie in the 2000s. (You can split pedantic hairs over whether to use the cultural "aughts" boundaries of that decade or the numeric 01-10 definition of that decade; either way, Osgood's rank remains the same.)
For his Islanders tenure, it was 103 regular season games plus seven memorable playoff games. It's a footnote in Osgood's career and a footnote in Islanders history, but his waiver acquisition ('cause the Red Wings were upgrading to a Mercedes, dontchaknow) was the final piece of that hot Islanders start in 2001-02 which led to a revival of the franchise -- after years of ownership/management neglect -- and a playoff appearance that still represents the last time the Islanders have gotten past Game 5.
I'm not sure what makes a Hall of Fame player, but Osgood doesn't quite fit in my eyes. His career had multiple ups and downs, and while he was a steady "veteran" guy the two times he was not in a Wings uniform, he wasn't quite a game stealer for two solid teams that didn't get out of the first round. Garth Snow, in fact, had better stats -- far better stats -- for the Islanders in 2002-03, the season in which the Isles flipped pending UFA Osgood to the Blues for Justin Papineau and a pick that would become Jeremy Colliton. (As always, injuries were a factor.)
That said, this is a debate that has gone round and round in other quarters -- Red Wings fans are particularly vehement about Osgood's credentials -- and HOF debates aren't quite my cup of tea. Feel free to say your bit on that Hall of Fame notion, but more generally I'm interested in your thoughts and memories of Osgood overall.
You don't have to be a Hall of Famer to be one heck of a player, and a fondly remembered one at that. For the latter, Osgood qualifies without conditions.
- It's possible your impression of Osgood was tarnished by his (mis)quote earlier this season when the Islanders claimed Evgeni Nabokov from the Red Wings. Don't let it be. It sure sounded like someone put words in Osgood's mouth.
- WebBard's retrospective on goaltenders in Islanders history.
Islanders All-Decade Team: The Goalies.
Not Related But Related:
After attending mini-camp last week, Michael Fornabaio, Sound Tigers beat writer for the Connecticut Post, will have a summer chat this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Talk the hockey.
Speaking of last week's mini-camp, Dougtone posted a bunch of photos from the scrimmage.