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Yesterday was another marker on a highway that is nearing it’s end. Chris Osgood retired, joining Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty in post-hockey Wings affiliated work. Kris Draper is likely going to join that trio shortly, as there doesn’t seem to be any place for him on the roster. Whenever the two Swedes, Nick and Homer, eventually hang ‘em up, it will mark the end of an era of dominance that is into it’s third decade. This group of players have figured significantly into the Red Wings winning four Stanley Cups over the last 15 years, as well as grooming young players to continue the run in their stead.
With Osgood announcing his retirement in a noon teleconfrence with Ken Holland, the Wings were in need of a backup goaltender.
They didn’t have to go far to find one, snatching Ty Conklin up for one year at $750k.
Conklin played the 2008-2009 season for the Wings, as the backup to Chris Osgood, and won 25 games in that capacity.
He has played the last two years for the St. Louis Blues, compiling a 18-18-6 record over that time.
His numbers this season should be somewhere between what he did in Detroit the first go around, and what he has done in the last two years in the Lou. He won’t be relied on to play as many games as he did when Osgood was struggling to find his form in 2008-09, but he will certainly have a better defense in front of him than he did when playing for the Blues.
If he can put together something better than a .500 record while giving Jimmy enough of a breather — say, 20-25 games or so — to keep him fresh for the playoffs, that’ll be good enough for me.
Welcome back, Conker!