Puck Sight (Sept. 19)

Our resident Red Wings fan, “Aaron” forwarded a local Detroit article to me about Chris Osgood that really changed my perspective on the guy. I’ll outline the article for you all, and toss in some thoughts aswell.

The story ran on September 7th, just as Red Wing camp was about to start up. As we all know, with Hasek joining the team over the summer, the odds of Osgood sticking around for long are pretty slim. What kind of atmosphere would you think there would be at training camp when you have this kind of situation? Well, as Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News reports:

What was one of Osgood’s first tasks? Well, to skate over and greet the guy in the other net, the guy who’s taking his job, the acknowledged best goalie in the world, Dominik Hasek.

“I have no hard feelings about anything, I really don’t,” Osgood said later. “I’ve had a good time here and I’m still going to have fun. I’m just happy to be back here for the time being, and see where it takes me. It’s business, and it’s out of my hands.” And with that healthy dose of professionalism, Osgood instantly defused what could have been the ugliest element of the Wings’ training camp.

Osgood was asked about how he felt about his probable departure from Detroit. “I work for the Red Wings and I’ll do whatever they tell me to do. I have a good contract and I’m going to honor it, regardless if I’m playing 20 or 30 games, or if they come in and tell me I’m moved.” Osgood looked up and shrugged “I’ll go around this room, thank the guys for nine great years, and I’ll be gone.”

Did he ever consider not attending camp? “I’m not a player who believes in doing stuff like that. I’m in no position to complain and pout. 80% of the guys in the league have been through something like this. I’m not special, or invincible. But I can still work hard and have just as much fun as before. We might have more fun because we have a great team.” Pause. Forced smile, “I mean, if I stay.”

What a refreshing attitude to hear from a pro athelete. My hats off to Osgood, I hope he lands a starting job really soon.

On the other side of the coin… Tomas Kaberle and Tom Poti are both sitting out waiting for new contracts. Both have shown they have potential, and lots of it. But the last time I heard, potential and fifty cents will still only buy you one cup of coffee, not Columbia. Both want more than a million bucks per season, both might be worth it someday, but neither should get that much yet.

Chicago fans have every right to be pissed off at their organization. They traded Denis Savard. Then Steve Larmer. Then Jeremy Roenick. Then Eddie Belfour. Then Chris Chelios. None of these players wanted to leave until they hated the management so much that they had to leave. They will almost assuredly now have to move Tony Amonte before the end of the season as he will not be back to play for Wirtz/Pulford/Smith next year.

Amonte will be no different. He’s looking at players like Sundin, Weight, Roenick and Tkachuk who all make over 8 Million, and then asks for 7 for himself, hoping the Hawks appreciate the gesture. Their response is to publically criticize him, and offer $4.5. That’s even less than what Martin Lapointe gets! You know Amonte will get at least $8 next summer from somebody.

I can understand how this can happen in a small market like Edmonton, but isn’t Chicago the 3rd largest city in the USA?

One of the two imports that Florida picked up this summer, Niklas Hagman, scored all three goals in the Panther’s 3-1 win over Carolina yesterday.

Ilya Kovalchuk has 3 goals in two preseason games for Atlanta. Dany Heatley also has two.

Mario Lemieux sent his team’s best player down to the minors… himself! Lemieux will dress for Wilkes-Barre in a game against the Penguins, then auction off his jersey to donate money towards relief for last week’s victims.

I stood beside Oilers’ tough guy, Georges Laraque, at the rookies/UofA Bears game last weekend. He was on the phone, one of the hands-free type, speaking french to whoever was on the other end. Suddenly a dozen kids saw him and rushed up to him asking for autographs. I felt like jumping in there and telling the kids to at least wait until he was off the phone, but, Laraque politely took there markers and began signing his name to whatever was passed his way. In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t step in. Laraque is a LARGE man in real life, and I don’t think he needs my protection!