For former Red Wings netminder Ty Conklin, the return to the Detroit means a return to relevance.
Conklin was called upon on numerous occasions to fill in for a porous Chris Osgood serving as the team’s back-up goalie throughout the 2008-09 season.
Essentially, the Ty Conklin and Chris Osgood combination turned into a time share. On the season, Conklin posted 25 victories to Osgood’s 26.
Ty Conklin’s 2,200-plus minute, 25-win, six-shutout season for the Red Wings remains his best to date.
Conklin significantly outplayed Osgood throughout the regular season, and was a large factor in the Detroit Red Wings capturing the Central Division crown.
In Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks Conklin relieved a dehydrated Chris Osgood in the third period and held the rival Blackhawks to 20 scoreless minutes.
Ultimately the Detroit Red Wings would fall to Conklin’s former team the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals.
Following the 2009 season it was revealed that Conklin would not be re-signed by the Detroit Red Wings due to salary cap restraints.
But Detroit’s decision to let Conklin walk had more to do with the team’s decision to promote strong AHL netminding prospect Jimmy Howard.
Conklin would go on to sign with the St. Louis Blues and play only a combined 2,736 minutes over two marginally-successful seasons.
But it looks as if the Conklin-Detroit relationship has come full circle.
It wasn’t long after former Wings goaltender Chris Osgood decided to hang up his skates that Detroit agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with Conklin.
Conklin, now 35, was brought back to Detroit to back up a guy (Jimmy Howard) that was brought in to replace him back in ’09.
Conklin’s stellar .908 save percentage over his nine-year career makes him a free-agent steal for the Red Wings at only $1 million.
Detroit now has the effective netminding combination essential for the deep playoff run perennially expected of the Wings.
Another quality offseason move by Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings.