The Free Press has posted an excerpt from Helene St. James’ new book, “The Big 50: Detroit Red Wings” this morning. In a lengthy excerpt, St. James chronicles the highs and lows of Chris Osgood’s tenures (plural) with the Red Wings:
Osgood spent the first, best, and last parts of his 17-season NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings. He won his first Stanley Cup backing up Mike Vernon in 1997, his second Cup as the team’s starter in 1998, and his third as reliever-turned-starter in 2008. He missed out on the Wings’ 2002 Stanley Cup because they had jettisoned him the summer before, putting him on waivers because he was expendable after general manager Ken Holland traded for Dominik Hasek.
“It was crushing when I had to leave,” Osgood said in a 2019 interview. “I was always conflicted because I thought I could stay there with Dom. I wished I could have stayed, but looking back it was better I left. It made me better. But having a personal relationship with Kenny and knowing in the back of my mind that I would be back one day helped with that.”
That day came in the summer of 2005, as the NHL prepared to emerge from a labor dispute that had wiped out an entire season. The two men, 17 years apart in age but with a relationship that stretched back before the Wings drafted Osgood at 54th overall in 1991, shared the same intention. “I met Ken at this restaurant or lounge on Haggerty Road and he wrote down some numbers,” Osgood remembered. “The salary cap, we knew it was coming. Basically he wrote out a contract on a napkin. It didn’t matter to me how much I would be making or how many years, I just wanted to come back to Detroit.”
Continued; St. James’ work is worth your time…