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Hockeytown0001

Osgood may retire following this season

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DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings aren't reading too much into goaltender Thomas McCollum's rocky first season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

They see it as a learning experience many young goalies go through while transitioning from amateur to pro.

"There's one good goaltender underneath that jersey, and we just got to find a way to get it out of him," Griffins coach Curt Fraser said during the Red Wings development camp at Joe Louis Arena. "I think this year he's going to show us all why Detroit took him so high and why we think the world of this kid."

McCollum, Detroit's first-round pick in 2008 (30th overall), went 10-16-2 with a 3.48 goals-against average and .881 save percentage as Daniel Larsson's backup in Grand Rapids.

Now that Larsson has returned to Sweden, McCollum has a chance to earn the starting job with the Griffins. He will compete with veteran Joey MacDonald, signed last week to a one-year contract.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Joey," said McCollum, 20. "I think we'll be a good partnership. We can really push each other. He's a very experienced player, there's a lot I can learn from him."

McCollum said he finished 2009-10 on an upswing and thinks he has sorted out some technical issues in his game.

"My last 10 starts I really focused on being a lot more patient and let the play come to me," McCollum said. "Once I stopped rushing everything, I felt I was in much better position, much more in control. That's where my season really turned around.

"I want to work on playing at the top of the crease, use my size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) to my advantage. I know if I stay out and try to make guys beat me with the shot, there's not much room to put the puck in the net."

Curt Fraser

Said Fraser: "Tommy moves so well and looks so good out here, he's just got to take that into his games. In a couple of years, he'll be great for this Detroit Red Wing team."

Growing up just outside Niagara Falls, N.Y., McCollum was a huge fan of the Buffalo Sabres and their all-world goalie, Dominik Hasek. McCollum learned at an early age he wasn't flexible enough to mimic Hasek's unorthodox style, but he can copy his work ethic.

"I heard nothing but great things about how hard he worked," McCollum said. "You see him battle night in and night out, and that's something I tried to incorporate in my game. I learned growing up watching how Dom battled all the time and how it really helped him on third and fourth saves."

He said he needs to improve his lateral quickness and endurance.

"I spent a lot of time skating with (Red Wings goaltending coach) Jim Bedard, working on my footwork," he said. "You can never be too good at things like that."

McCollum has allowed himself to look ahead to 2011-12.

Chris Osgood is expected to retire after this season, leaving the Red Wings with two options: Sign a veteran free agent on a one-year deal as Jimmy Howard's backup, or promote McCollum.

It will depend on how McCollum fares this season.

"I think about it here and there, and a lot of times during the summer it helps push you a little harder in workouts," McCollum said. "But my main concern is next season, building on a strong finish. If I do that, it could happen. But if I don't have a good season, (a promotion) is not going to be anything to worry about."

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Osgood has been a great player for the Wings over the years, but everyone has to retire at some point. I think Jimmy Howard is really going to establish himself as a talented and improving young starter, so when the time comes for McCollum to take over the backup job, Howard should be in a position to carry a big workload, meaning that McCollum wont be thrown straight into a situation where he has to play a lot of minutes straight away.

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It's good to hear we've got someone just about ready to come up, hopefully he'll work hard and make it.

As for Ozzie, it doesn't surprise me he plans on retiring. I just hope that Babcock treats him better this season and actually lets him play in some more games. I think he wants to stick around here after he retires so maybe he'll help mentor the young guys.

Veery, GoWings1905 and Vladifan like this

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oh ozzie.. going to be sad to see him go but he had a great career. I could still see the wings offering him a contact to be the back up if he chooses not to retire.

Mccollum on the other hand is still going to be a stud and If he puts it together he could be great. I don't think it would be a bad thing to have a montreal thing going on in a year or 2 with jimmy and thomas. I think thomas has a much higher ceiling than jimmy but he is going to have to prove himself this year to make me believe that.

Edited by redwingfan19

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It all depends on how this season goes for Osgood. If he can lighten the load for Howard successfully then I don't see why Osgood can't be resigned for one more season. Otherwise it's probably time for another FA signing. Don't really see the Red Wings trusting goal-tending duties to two youngsters. Maybe time to bring Conks back one more season. I think he's available after the next season.

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Osgood will be turning 38 this November and his contract is up after this season, so it is no surprise that people are already speculating that he will retire. I don't remember reading anywhere about Ozzie himself mentioning retirement, but he really doesn't have anything else to prove, other than perhaps wanting to win another cup before he retires. I hope he earns more playing time this season, he has a realistic shot at passing Grant Fuhr and Glenn Hall on the all-time wins list, and if he splits the starts pretty evenly with Howard, he may even catch Tony Esposito, pretty much guaranteeing himself a place in the HHOF.

Veery and Vladifan like this

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It sure will suck to see Ozzie retire, he was a fun goalie to watch. Hopefully he sticks around for a little bit longer and gets some more playing time.

Vladifan likes this

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Regardless of how McCollum does this year (I hope great), we should get a 1-year veteran next year that can keep Jimmy to around 60-65 games (hopefully), and then the next year bring Thomas up.

Both my opinion and my prediction.

stevkrause likes this

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I saw Ozzie speak about retiring after this year and he mentioned he'd really like to be a bull pen catcher for the Tigers after he retires. Seriously. That would be cool.

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Regardless of how McCollum does this year (I hope great), we should get a 1-year veteran next year that can keep Jimmy to around 60-65 games (hopefully), and then the next year bring Thomas up.

Both my opinion and my prediction.

I could not possibly agree more. I think McCollum should be the number 1 starter in GR for at least 2 seasons before he's in Detroit full time...

I saw Ozzie speak about retiring after this year and he mentioned he'd really like to be a bull pen catcher for the Tigers after he retires. Seriously. That would be cool.

I would imagine that would be a joke... I don't see how he'd want such a menial job which required him to be away from his family that much after such a great NHL career...

It'd be VERY odd if he were serious...

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A legend with problems.

What Wings legend didn't have problems?

I saw Ozzie speak about retiring after this year and he mentioned he'd really like to be a bull pen catcher for the Tigers after he retires. Seriously. That would be cool.

That would be pretty neat for Ozzie.

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I hope that Ozzie bounces back into form this season. I'm a huge fan of his, but Jimmy has won me over, and I am confident that the team is in good hands when Ozzie does retire.

That said, I hope Ozzie hangs around and McCollum gets the time he needs to age to perfection like they allowed for Jimmy.

Having a backup with Ozzie's ability and credentials, when combined with his salary/cap hit, is something most teams only dream of. If he is used enough that he doesn't get rusty, I think he'll end up with those 400 wins.

Oh, yes... and I wouldn't complain if Ozzie gets another cup or two on his way out. :D

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I hope that Ozzie bounces back into form this season. I'm a huge fan of his, but Jimmy has won me over, and I am confident that the team is in good hands when Ozzie does retire.

That said, I hope Ozzie hangs around and McCollum gets the time he needs to age to perfection like they allowed for Jimmy.

Having a backup with Ozzie's ability and credentials, when combined with his salary/cap hit, is something most teams only dream of. If he is used enough that he doesn't get rusty, I think he'll end up with those 400 wins.

Oh, yes... and I wouldn't complain if Ozzie gets another cup or two on his way out. :D

None of us would :thumbup:

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No. :( He needs more Cups. At least 1 or 2...and it makes it worse because if we had won it in 09 I think he would have gotten the Conn Smythe. He still hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves IMO, and he can't retire until he does.

Edited by wingnut40

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Ozzie will always have a special spot here in Detroit after his years of ups and downs. It is too bad the repeat did not happen in '09, I think he would've gone after that. Also still think he could've been Conn Smythe in '08 (not taking anything away from Z, just saying). I am glad that he can call Detroit his home after years of question and struggle.

Vladifan and GoWings1905 like this

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With Jimmy on the rise and Ozzie mentoring these last couple of years has been quite invaluable. Will always be a huge Ozzie fan and supporter. Never really understood the haters but its tough to be a goalie in this town so thats just the way it goes. Either way, lets get him 1 more and hope he can be a more than solid backup for Jimmy this year.

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I was one of those people who were extremely hard on Ozzy this season; and justly so. But for some reason anytime Ozzy is supposed to be a back up he plays amazing, so I'm all for letting him be the back up for the next year or two.

Hockeytown0001 and Cheveldae32 like this

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No. :( He needs more Cups. At least 1 or 2...and it makes it worse because if we had won it in 09 I think he would have gotten the Conn Smythe. He still hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves IMO, and he can't retire until he does.

He for sure would have been the Conn Smythe winner in 09 had the Wings won, and that would have been one of the better stories of the season for Ozzie - being named playoff MVP after such a sub-par regular season.

Majsheppard likes this

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What's also forgotten in discussions about Osgood?

Only 8 goalies have played more playoff games, and only 7 have won more. Of the seven goalies who have won more, there are 25 Cup rings, 24 earned as starter of the last 30 Cups, and 5 Conn Smythe trophies of the 9 awarded to goalies in that time frame.

No other goaltender during that time frame has come even close to those kinds of numbers. If Osgood plays a couple more seasons and gets playoff time, he passes Vernon (77), Dryden (80), perhaps even Belfour (88), Smith (88), and Fuhr (92) in playoff wins.

The active top-10 list?

Osgood (74)

Nabokov (40)

Khabibulin (39)

Fleury (38)

Giguere (33)

Kiprusoff (25)

Ward (23)

Miller (22)

Lalime (21)

Turco (21)

Fleury, Ward, and Miller are the only ones with a realistic chance of matching Osgood by the same age.

Osgood has 74 wins at 37.

Fleury, 25, would have to average 3 wins per postseason.

Ward, 26, would have to average 4.5 wins per postseason.

Miller, 29, would have to average 6.5 wins per postseason.

Khabibulin, 37, would have to win 35 games this postseason...

Those three and Khabibulin are the only starters on the list, and Khabi is as old as Ozzie and playing for a non-playoff team. And it's likely that none of them will do it. Fleury has the best chance; he might do it or come close. The other two have to average a second round appearance over the remaining time.

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What's also forgotten in discussions about Osgood?

Only 8 goalies have played more playoff games, and only 7 have won more. Of the seven goalies who have won more, there are 25 Cup rings, 24 earned as starter of the last 30 Cups, and 5 Conn Smythe trophies of the 9 awarded to goalies in that time frame.

No other goaltender during that time frame has come even close to those kinds of numbers. If Osgood plays a couple more seasons and gets playoff time, he passes Vernon (77), Dryden (80), perhaps even Belfour (88), Smith (88), and Fuhr (92) in playoff wins.

The active top-10 list?

Brodeur (99)

Osgood (74)

Nabokov (40)

Khabibulin (39)

Fleury (38)

Giguere (33)

Kiprusoff (25)

Ward (23)

Miller (22)

Lalime (21)

Turco (21)

Fleury, Ward, and Miller are the only ones with a realistic chance of matching Osgood by the same age.

Osgood has 74 wins at 37.

Fleury, 25, would have to average 3 wins per postseason.

Ward, 26, would have to average 4.5 wins per postseason.

Miller, 29, would have to average 6.5 wins per postseason.

Khabibulin, 37, would have to win 35 games this postseason...

Those three and Khabibulin are the only starters on the list, and Khabi is as old as Ozzie and playing for a non-playoff team. And it's likely that none of them will do it. Fleury has the best chance; he might do it or come close. The other two have to average a second round appearance over the remaining time.

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That is just that writers expectation, not fact. I haven't heard Osgood say anything about retiring. In fact he has given quite the opposite impression to me. There are certain goals he want's to accomplish and given the year he had last year, he wasn't able to make much headway. Now if this year is the same as last, well then he might look at retirement, I love Jimmy, but I for one see a bounce back year for Ozzie with closer to a 50/50 game distribution, if Osgood plays well.

Veery likes this

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