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Ozzie signs three-year extension

Wednesday, 01.9.2008 / 11:28 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
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Ozzie signs three-year extension
DETROIT – Chris Osgood didn’t enter this season with the idea of getting a three-year contract extension done with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.

“I just wanted to work hard,” Osgood said. “I had worked hard in the off-season to prepare myself for the season and better my game. I did come to the fact that I wanted to finish where I started. I wondered if I should sign a one-year or two-year deal after the season and take it from there.”

Osgood got his answer Wednesday when he and the Red Wings agreed on a three-year contract extension that will keep the veteran goalie in Hockeytown through the 2010-11 season.

Osgood, who leads the league with a 1.68 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage, is the third Wings’ player to receive a contract extension this season, joining defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (two-years) and center Kris Draper (three-years).

“It’s a great commitment by Kenny Holland, showing his loyalty to guys that he’s won with,” Draper said. “Ozzie right now is playing the best hockey that I’ve ever seen him play. I think it’s great for the organization. Him and Dom and created a great 1 and 1A punch.”

Osgood is having a remarkable season, winning 19 games in 22 starts. He’s one of the main reasons why the Wings are off to the best first-half of the season starts in league history. Osgood stepped in when Dominik Hasek battled an early-season hip injury.

“He is so confident right now,” Draper said. “It doesn’t matter where we play, who we play, he believes that he can go in and win that hockey game. He’s playing unbelievable.

“He’s certainly matured from that quiet person when we broke into the league together. He loves to keep things loose in the locker room and laugh. But when the puck drops he’s going to play; he’s all business. His work ethic, and he certainly would be the first to tell you, that it’s as good as it’s ever been. I’m certainly excited for him and glad that he could ink the three-year deal.”

In November, Osgood started eight of the Red Wings’ 12 games, amassing a 6-1-1 record, that included a shootout win against Columbus on Nov. 24 where he stopped 36 of 40 shots and denied three-of-five Blue Jackets in the shootout for a 5-4 win.

He recorded his first shutout of the season against St. Louis on Nov. 21, stopping 12 shots in a 3-0 win. It was his 44th career shutout, which ranks fifth among active NHL netminders.

Although Osgood’s only regulation loss came against Chicago on Nov. 11, it was a brief blip in a streak that saw the Wings’ goalie earn at least a point in 20 straight games (15-0-5). It was the second longest point streak of his career. He holds the two best winning streaks (20 and 21 games) in the league since 1989-90.
“Obviously, the way Ozzie is playing, he’s more than deserving of it,” forward Kirk Maltby said. “He’s a great guy to have around the younger guys and he makes everyone kind of laugh. But knowing that he signed that deal, it’s definitely dinner in Ottawa.”

For Osgood, finishing his career he it began in 1993, was extremely important.

“You look at the guys who have played here in the past, legendary players,” Osgood said. “Guys who have won and we want to finish our careers here and obtain some goals, whether it be guys scoring goals or assists or games-played; for me wins and trying to see how close I can get to (Terry) Sawchuck and win some more Cups here.”

Osgood has 355 career wins, including 271 in 10-plus seasons with the Wings. He’s 81 wins away from catching Sawchuk, who holds the all-time franchise mark with 352 victories.

He was a member of the Wings’ championship teams in 1997 and ’98. But he believes more Stanley Cup titles are in reach.

“That’s the biggest thing,” Osgood said, “because now I give myself four more chances to win here, which I think are pretty good chances and the main reason for me coming back.”

This week can only get better for Osgood, who could be named to the Western Conference All-Star team as early as Thursday. If he’s named to the team, he will join Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and coach Mike Babcock in Atlanta on Jan. 27.

“That would rank right up there,” Osgood said. “Sign a contract and go to the All-Star Game, which would be pretty cool. I would love to go there. It would be a lot of fun for me, especially at this stage of my career.”

Did Osgood already have plans for the six-day break?

“I was going to go to Disneyland,” he said. “My wife and kids were going to fly out there. My dad will be out there for four days. So that’s going to be fun too. I’d love to do both, so I’m in a win-win situation. You’re living a childhood dream either way. Right?”




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
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