Blues Sign Chris Osgood

The Blues management finally realized that they cannot rely on Brent Johnson for a Stanley Cup and signed upcoming UFA Chris Osgood, who was dealt to the Blues at the May trade deadline. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Stlouisblues.com reports the following:

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St. Louis Blues Sign Goaltender Chris Osgood

St. Louis, MO, June 11, 2003 – Senior Vice President and General Manager Larry Pleau announced today that the club has signed goaltender Chris Osgood.

“At the end of our playoffs, Chris expressed to us that he wanted to play a major role in our effort to win the Stanley Cup in 2004,” said Pleau. “To do so, Chris is agreeing to contractual terms well below the market rate for a goaltender with his record and experience. He’s won the Stanley Cup, and the opportunity to win it again as a member of the St. Louis Blues is what drove his decision to sign with us for next season. We’re impressed with his approach and very happy to welcome him back.”

Osgood, 30, skated in nine regular season contests with St. Louis, posting a 4-3-2 record along with two shutouts, while appearing in seven postseason games. He appeared in 37 games with the Islanders prior to the trade, recording a 17-14-4 record, along with a 2.92 goals against average. Osgood missed 19 games with an ankle sprain and returned to action stopping 16 of 18 shots on March 8 versus New Jersey. Osgood played in a career high 66 games in 2001-02 with the Islanders, posting a 32-25-6 record, along with a 2.50 goals against average.

The 5-11, 180-pound goaltender has posted 30-or-more wins in seven of his last 10 NHL seasons, posting a career best 39-6-5 record, along with 2.17 goals against average during the 1995-96 season. The two-time Stanley Cup winner, backstopped the Red Wings to the 1997-98 Championship, recording a 16-6 record, along with a 2.12 goals against average. He set a Red Wing record by recording a 21-game unbeaten streak (19-0-2) and notched a career-best, 13-game winning streak during the 1995-96 season. Osgood has earned the Jennings Trophy on two occasions (1996-97, 1995-96), along with teammates Mike Vernon and Kevin Hodson.

The three-time NHL All Star has appeared in 501 career NHL games, posting a 274-152-58 record lifetime, along with a 2.46 goals against average. Osgood has appeared in 82 postseason games, registering a 44-33 record and a 2.23 goals against average. The Peace River, Alberta native was acquired by St. Louis on March 11, 2003 along with a 2003 third round selection from the New York Islanders in exchange for center Justin Papineau and the Blues second round selection in the 2003 Entry Draft.

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I think, when taking a look at the UFA goaltenders this summer, this was the Blues’ best bet. “Ozzie” was streaky at times in the playoffs, but I still believe he and Doug Weight were the only Blues who deserve to stay Blues after their performance in the last three games of the Vancouver series. What do you guys think?

~Jeff P.