DETROIT – After 17 seasons in the National Hockey League, Chris Osgood has decided to announce his retirement.
A source confirmed to The Macomb Daily late Monday that today’s noon conference call, which will include Osgood and Wings general manager Ken Holland, will be to announce the netminder’s retirement.
Osgood will take a position with the team to work with young goaltenders within the organization.
Holland did not return calls or text messages looking for a comment.
Holland and Osgood were scheduled to meet face-to-face in Vernon, British Columba, where they both have summer homes.
Osgood’s agent, Rollie Thompson, said Monday that he had not spoken to Holland about a new contract for his client.
He also hadn’t spoken with Osgood since the Wings announced the noon conference call.
“There have been no contact talks,” Thompson told The Macomb Daily. “There have been no discussions, so I don’t know how there would be a contract.”
Thompson said he talked to Osgood at length, “a good hour,” on Saturday after he met with Holland.
“If he’s still enjoying it and physically able to continue I’d tell him to go for it,” Thompson said. “Sometimes it’s better to go out Gordie Howe style, on a high, rather than coming back and being raked over the coals if things don’t work out.”
Osgood’s retirement could mean that former Wing, Ty Conklin, could be returning to backup Jimmy Howard.
Conklin, 35, remains unsigned.
Conklin played one season with Detroit (2008-09) and recorded a career-high 25 wins, going 25-11-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.
“Ty played here a few years ago, he played well and we know him,” Holland said last week.
Conklin played the last two seasons with the St. Louis Blues in a backup role, struggling last year with a record of 8-8-4 and a 3.22 goals-against average and .881 save percentage.
Conklin, who was not claimed when the Blues placed him on waivers last February, made $1.4 million last season.
Holland also has said he has been offered a goalie through a trade.
Last Monday, the Wings re-signed Joey MacDonald to a two-year deal. The first year of the contract is a two-way deal. MacDonald will be the third goalie going into the season.
The Wings pursued a number of different backup options for starter Jimmy Howard when free agency started, including Tomas Vokoun, Jose Theodore and Mike Smith. All three however were looking to battle for a starting job and not be the No. 2 goalie.
“We explored the market on July 1 and 2, I anticipated we’d be second fiddle to a lot of guys because of opportunity,” Holland said last week.
Osgood spent 14 seasons with Detroit and was a member of three Stanley Cup winning teams. He was the starter for two of those runs.
He was sidelined midway through last season and wound up needing sports hernia surgery on Jan. 11. He was unable to return after suffering a few setbacks in March.
He last played on Jan. 4.
“I’m more worried about the unknown,” Holland said prior to meeting with Osgood. “He’s going to be 39 in November and he had a fairly significant surgery in the last half of the year.”
Osgood was 5-3-2 last season with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.
Osgood, who recently returned from a Scotland golf trip that his teammates paid for to honor his 400th career win, said during the end of season locker cleanout that hadn’t put much thought about returning for another season.
“I’ve got three kids now,” Osgood said last May. “They play 20 soccer games. I see two or three of them. That factors into it.
“I would definitely miss playing if I wasn’t,” Osgood added last May. “That’s another factor. I do want to play, but it goes beyond that.”