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The Detroit Red Wings re-signed 31-year-old borderline NHLer Joey MacDonald(notes) on Monday to a new 2-year contract. If he's not the backup keeper for Jimmy Howard(notes) next season, who is?

Red Wings sign MacDonald, as the Chris Osgood question lingers

Matt Saler of On The Wings thinks this signing could mean a return engagement for Chris Osgood(notes) with Detroit for one more season:

Going with Osgood again without Joey or a comparable guy in the program would have been a serious risk, but with MacDonald back in the fold, that risk is somewhat mitigated. They can get Osgood cheaper than just about anyone else and if his groin turns out not to hold up, they can go back to Joey, at least for the short term.

Osgood adopted a Red Wings-or-retirement posture after last season, and SB Nation Detroit said last month that his return to the team would hinge on (a) money and (b) an unsuccessful attempt to upgrade the position.

Is Ty Conklin(notes) a better option than Chris Osgood in 2011? Of course. Is he the cheaper option? When you have Pascal Leclaire(notes), Marty Turco(notes), Pat Lalime and Ray Emery(notes) still out there and virtually no NHL jobs still open, it's hard to imagine Conklin would blow a plum gig over dollars.

(Unless, of course, MacDonald is being signed as a backup and not as an AHL insurance policy. Which is a possibility, though not exactly the best option.)

This all leads back to GM Ken Holland and what Art Regner of Fox Sports Detroit believes will be a difficult meeting with Osgood followed by the veteran goaltender's inevitable retirement:

Published reports indicate that Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is waiting for Osgood to return from a golfing holiday in Scotland, so he can meet with him face to face to deliver the inevitable news.

Without question, this will be the most difficult meeting Holland has ever had with a Red Wings player. His relationship with Ozzie began during his stint as the Wings' scout for Western Canada when a 14-year-old goalie caught his eye.

Note to Ozzie: If you do decide to call it a career, pick a slow news week; your Hall of Fame debate might take us all the way through training camp …

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