The Detroit Red Wings have already dealt with a couple important retirement questions during this off-season. That’s the price they pay for leaning on a veteran-heavy roster. So far, the team is batting .500; Brian Rafalski raised some eyebrows when he decided to retire while Nicklas Lidstrom produced sighs of relief by deciding against it.
Detroit faces one more big question (well, two if you count the unlikely prospect of Mike Modano returning) in the form of goalie Chris Osgood. It’s tough to tell which way Osgood and the Red Wings will lean; Detroit already has Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald locked up to multi-year deals, but MacDonald could just be in the mix for insurance purposes. (Osgood played just 11 games in a injury-ravaged 2010-11 season and MacDonald’s deal is a two-way contract.)
Those injury issues – not to mention what must have been a fulfilling career for a goalie who continuously proved doubters wrong – would make Osgood’s retirement justifiable. That being said, the 38-year-old goalie has every right to decide when he wants to hang up his goalie pads for good (as long as someone is willing to employ him).
With that coin toss in mind, it should be interesting to see what Osgood and the Red Wings will announce during a conference call scheduled for Tuesday. Red Wings GM Ken Holland visited Osgood last weekend to determine if the veteran goalie wanted to come back for another year. Various outlets indicate that signs (particularly the fact that it will be a conference call rather than a press conference held at Joe Louis Arena) point to Osgood coming back for another season as Howard’s backup, but we’ll have to wait and see what actually happens.
Either way, expect PHT to provide insight and analysis regarding the decision (and perhaps Osgood’s legacy).