All you need to know about the St. Louis Blues getting Chris Osgood at the trade deadline is this: 22-6-3.
That's Osgood's career regular season record against the Dallas Stars.
Critics will say Osgood accumulated that record with a great Detroit team. Critics will say some of that came against teams in Minnesota and Dallas that struggled in the early 1990s. Critics will say statistics don't tell the true story of Chris Osgood.
Any Stars fan will tell you differently. Fact is, Chris Osgood has been spectacular against Dallas. He has been calm, he has been coolly aggressive, and he has been a winner. And he has been that way against very good Stars teams, too.
Osgood has this team's number. That's why it was so interesting to read quotes from the Blues, who were almost disappointed in landing the goalie -- an obvious second choice behind Phoenix's Sean Burke.
"We offer the opportunity to him to capture being a number one goalie again," Blues GM Larry Pleau said. "We're looking for someone to come in here and show us that they deserve to be number one."
That might be Pleau's way of challenging Osgood, but he sounds almost defeated by the move. Yet it says here that Pleau ended up with the best goalie available for his team.
Osgood knows the Red Wings. Osgood knows the Avalanche. Osgood knows the Stars. Yes, he too has struggled in recent playoffs, going out in the first round in 2001 and 2002. Red Wings fans, in fact, blamed him for the team's lack of success, and Coach Scotty Bowman (a very smart hockey man) never had full confidence in Osgood.
That's all true. And had the Blues been able to obtain Dominik Hasek instead of Osgood, I would have recommended that move. But Osgood was the best alternative at this point. He makes a very good Blues team better, and he will have confidence entering the playoffs.
I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy
Al Gore never thought about the damage he could be doing to NHL players when he invented the Internet.
The technology of instant information whacked more than a few players across the head Tuesday as they found out they had been traded either by friends who were surfing online or by play-by-play television reports.
"It's a tough way to find out," said Anson Carter, who saw his trade from Edmonton to the Rangers on TV.
The problem is the league requires a step-by-step process to approve trades. By that time, coaches, secretaries and equipment managers know about the trades and leak information to the media. In Canada, those leaks are turned into instant news.
"It's a brutal way to hear about a deal," Oilers Coach Craig MacTavish said. "It's not the way you want to end a long-term relationship."
Former Vezina Trophy-winning goalie John Vanbiesbrouck has resigned as coach and GM of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and has sold his 25 percent ownership in the team after admitting that he used a racial slur in talking about Stars prospect Trevor Daley around Greyhounds teammates.
Credit Vanbiesbrouck with admitting the transgression and taking immediate action, but criticize his couth in apologizing. He told the Sault Star: "I used the 'N' word instead of calling him Trevor."
Vanbiesbrouck, who grew up in Detroit, explained: "I told Trev this is an old wound with me. I grew up with it. I'm as sorry as anybody that it's stuck with me." . . .
Pavel Bure put his stamp of approval on the Rangers going after Florida Coach Mike Keenan.
"If [Glen Sather] decided to step down, I think Keenan would be really good," Bure said. "Let's face it, everybody knows Keenan is a coach for superstars. He's not a coach for young guys."
The Rangers have the most superstars in the league. The Panthers have the most young guys.
There seems to be too much smoke around this deal for it not to get done. The Rangers want the guy, and the Panthers want to get rid of him. The holdup is that the Panthers want compensation.