DETROIT (AP) – Chris Osgood agreed to terms on a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, returning the goaltender to the team he helped win the 1998 Stanley Cup.

Osgood will compete with Manny Legace for Detroit’s top spot in the nets.

“We’ve got a new coach in Mike Babcock, who has no preconceived notions about either guy,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “They’re both in their early 30s and they both are on one-year contracts, so I expect a healthy competition and I hope in the end the team is the benefactor.”

Osgood, Detroit’s third-round pick in 1991, played with the Red Wings from 1993-94 through 2000-01. He was the No. 1 goalie in 1998 when Detroit won the Stanley Cup, and was Mike Vernon’s backup in the previous championship season.

Osgood was 221-110-46 in Detroit, 38-25 in the playoffs, and is 305-177-66 with a 2.40 goals-against-average in 11 NHL seasons.

The New York Islanders claimed him in the 2001 waiver draft and he was traded in 2003 to St. Louis. Osgood was 31-25-8 with a 2.24 GAA, his lowest since 1998, during the 2003-04 season.

Legace went 77-35-18 with a 2.22 GAA in four-plus seasons with the Red Wings after he spent his rookie year with the Los Angeles Kings during the 1998-99 season.

“Chris has been a No. 1 goaltender wherever he’s been while Manny has never been given that opportunity,” Holland said. “In 2001, when they were teammates, Manny made a great case to be the next No. 1 guy, but we ended up signing Dominik Hasek and later Curtis Joseph. This is a great opportunity for both Manny and Chris, and they’ve had a good rapport in the past, so I’m sure it will be a healthy competition.”

The Red Wings have been busy over the past month – since the NHL resumed business – and Holland expects to be very active until veterans report to training camp on Sept. 11 in Traverse City.

Detroit hired Babcock to replace coach Dave Lewis; bought out the contracts of Darren McCarty, Derian Hatcher and Ray Whitney; re-signed Steve Yzerman, Mathieu Schneider and Chris Chelios and welcomed back Brendan Shanahan when he exercised an option to return.

“The two areas I’m still concerned about is goal scoring and our size and toughness,” Holland said. “We only have so much money left to stay under the salary cap, so I don’t know if we’ll be able to address all of our needs in our new world. We’re going to have a lot of question marks that might not get answered until midseason, but I think that’s going to be the case for a lot of clubs.”

The Red Wings are still hoping to re-sign restricted free agents Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

“We’ve had talks with both and it’s an ongoing process,” Holland said.

AP-ES-08-08-05 1719EDT


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