There are often times in sports when one move sets off a firestorm of debate… and then there’s calm. The popular sports talks shows will spend an entire day’s content on the player transaction with continued rehashing until Brett Favre retires for a seventh time. Sure great offseason acquisitions (see Miguel Cabrera/Tigers and David Beckham/Galaxy) will lead to success in the box office, but what happens when interest is already high within an organization and that prized possession comes along? At the trade deadline in March 2008 there was one player with the eyes of an entire league in their direction – that player in 2008-2009 will be wearing a Red Wings uniform.
Marian Hossa is not another Brendan Shanahan or Brett Hull – a good player wanting a champagne sip from the cup (again for Hull in ’02). Hossa is Ovechkin with a history. He’s up there with Jagr or Bure in their prime when it comes to talent. In the current era of sports that we live in, for a player of his caliber to take $7.45 million when at least a dozen times that were reportedly on the table, is totally mind blowing. In the short time of this offseason so far, the Wings have joined other teams in raiding some of the top components to the 2007-8 Pittsburgh squad. With this Hossa signing, Detroit arguably has the best playoff performer from Pittsburgh Stanley Cup finalists. No player was more consistent or more productive in placing the Wings on the backs of their skates. He made Malkin look flat and Crosby look inconsistent, while often being their linemates.
So Wing Nuts or Hockeytowners, your team next year looks unbelievable with this move. For a 29-year-old who has 299 goals and 648 points in only nine full seasons of play, the Wings have struck gold again by acquiring a character player with a history of producing for his teams. His stats in the big moments also represent some hope for fans looking for a repeat: 16 pts in 8 Olympic games, 8 pts in 4 All-Star games, 61 pts in 75 career playoff games. The league knows how special this guy is – just ask Edmonton or Chicago management. Shortly, Detroit fans will be wearing Hossa jerseys alongside those of Datsyuk or Zetterberg.