On Tuesday, we took to our Facebook page asking for your Chris Osgood tributes. Five lucky lyrical souls will walk away with an Ozzie mini-Fathead, but all of the responses touched our hearts.
Our contest winners:
Chris was a true Red Wing, sometimes great, always a great guy, forever a Red Wing. His name will forever be in the same breath with Terry Sawchuk and Roger Crozier, two of the greats. Mike Vernon’s Wingman one year, the leader the next. There were three great OZZY’s in my lifetime. Ozzy Osbourne, Ozzie Smith and Chris Osgood. The fans will never forget.
Mike Buchko – Redford, Michigan
Champion, role model, the truest example of team spirit a fan could ask for. It’s going to be a while before any active Red Wing means as much to me as Chris Osgood did, and an even longer before one’s retirement hits me so hard. I feel comfortable saying Ozzie represents everything the Red Wings stand for: modesty, not stardom; team success, not personal gain; playing your heart out every time, no matter what. My main Wing since I was seven and writing him a letter asking him to dinner. I’m 21 and still waiting for that dinner, Ozzie!
Alyssa Miller – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Every now and then, a person evolves into more than just an athlete, co-worker, etc…. Chris Osgood is that type of person. The hype about whether or not his numbers are Hall of Fame worthy is not, or never should be what qualifies Ozzie as a Hall of Famer. His character and ability to bring his teammates to another level in the playoffs are proof enough of his worth in the HOF. His teammates should be the tell-tale witnesses of his career.
Ron Pettengill – Interlochen, Michigan
For Red Wings fans of my generation, Chris Osgood is a name that goes up along Yzerman, Lidstrom, and Shanahan. A great goalie whose solid, reliable play helped lead the Wings to multiple Stanley Cups. It’s truly remarkable that his final cup victory came a decade after his first. That is a consistency and longevity rarely seen in sports these days. From his clutch playoff performances to his battles with Colorado to being in attendance for his 400th career victory, I will have numerous memories of Chris Osgood that will live on forever. Ozzie! Ozzie! Ozzie!
Mike Scarlett – New Orleans, LA
I remember the first time I went to a Red Wings game. My dad told me the night before that we would be “Off to see the wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz” come 7:30 the next night. I never really understood what that meant until I got into sixth grade and sang the actual song, then became a hardcore Red Wings fan and realized just what a great goalkeeper and overall person fans got to see play for the last sixteen years.
Lisa Ivezaj – Rochester Hills, Michigan
The honorable mentions:
Christopher John Osgood is one of the best goalies the NHL has ever seen. He played his heart out for 16 seasons and every game he was in net was special. Ozzie you will always be remembered in my heart and the city of Detroit. Have a great retirement and thank you again for all the times you stood in front of the net and stood tall.
Jordan Gilliam – Canton, Michigan
My memories of Chris Osgood go as far back as the 1997 Stanley Cup championship team. I remembered tuning into watch Mike Vernon and Chris Osgood hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup in victory after such a long absence. In their run to the championship in 1998, I watched as Osgood was marvelous in goal and dominated that series. I surely think that with all his accomplishments, Chris Osgood should be inducted into the NHL Hall Of Fame. I salute your career Ozzie, you were one of the best goalies I have ever seen in my life!
Eric D. Pitcher – Kalamazoo, Michigan
There have been few events as utterly awesome as attending a playoff game in Joe Louis Arena, nervously watching the opposing team on an odd-man rush, holding your breath as they wind up to fire a shot at the net…
…and then being part of the 20,000 rabid hockey fans collectively, instantaneously, and without any prompting to erupt:
OZ-ZIE! OZ-ZIE! OZ-ZIE!
Greg Jones – Chicago, Illinois
A man that needs no introduction.
A hero to a city of destruction.
A legend to a team of winners.
A hero to a league of goaltenders.
You hear them chant Ozzy,
As he makes a flashy.
Never one to quit,
Always one to hit (Roy).
Hall of Famer indeed,
401 wins were not with greed.
In playoffs were his time,
Forever in the fans mind.
Adam Simpson – Toledo, Ohio
Growing up a Wings fan and a goalie I don’t think any player in the NHL has influenced me more than Chris Osgood. He made it cool to just wear my normal hockey helmet, instead of having to invest hundreds of dollars into a mask. Also I have a yellow lab, who is 13, also unfortunately approaching retirement, but we named him after Osgood, and he has lived up to the name. Thanks Ozzie, you’ll always be my favorite goaltender.
Evan Forster – Marysville, Michigan
Chris Osgood has been, is and will forever be a Detroit Red Wing. Even during his brief stints in New York and St. Louis, he was always donning the red and white in my eyes, and I think the same can be said for every Red Wings fan.
Of all the players that have worn that uniform, none have worn it as proudly as Ozzie. With the possible exception of Yzerman, no one has shown as much heart for this organization and for this city as Chris. I don’t think the announcement that he will remain with the Wings in the team’s front office came as a surprise to anyone in Detroit.
His stats? I’ll let the estimable Darren McCarty field that question:
Greg Melvin – Royal Oak, Michigan