You can’t dream this stuff up.
In July 2008, twenty-nine year old Marian Hossa signs a one-year $7.4M contract with the Detroit Red Wings, turning down a seven-year $49M offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh promptly wastes no time to sign Brooks Orpik (six year contract) and Miroslav Satan (one year contract).
This is all about ME. There is no “I” in TEAM but there is “ME” (if you kinda rearrange the letters). Desert your team, win the Stanley Cup.
Flash forward to January 2009. All Star Break. Lemme see. Pittsburgh is 10th in the Eastern Conference at 23-21-4 and 50 points. Detroit is 2nd in the Western Conference at 31-9-6 and 68 points. Hossa is starting to look like Einstein.
Pittsburgh starts its run. Chris Kunitz acquired from the Anaheim Ducks. Michel Therrien is fired. Dan Bylsma with 0 games of NHL coaching experience takes over. Bill Guerin acquired from the New York Islanders. Penguins go 18-3-4 in Bylsma’s first 25 games, the second best record through the first 25 games of any NHL coach.
April 2009: Hossa’s agent talks about a 10 year contract. Hossa is settling in. Getting comfy.
Stanley Cup Playoffs 2009: Hossa is held to 6 goals in the Western Conference playoffs, none in the finals.
Gotta wonder what’s going through his head. As he watches the seconds wind down in Game 7. As he waits for the handshake line at the end of the game. As he sits in his wet equipment in the locker room. As he watches the highlights on TV. And next month as he enters contract talks with Detroit.
And what do the Detroit fans think? Well, we know what the Pittsburgh fans think … see the witty Pittsburgh sign above.
The bloggers have taken over. Most, if not all, are merciless. Fair? All is fair in the free agent market. That’s the whole point. The players make their own decisions. Go with your gut. Go with what’s right. Win the Cup at all costs.
Watch out Heatley… this could be you.
Wait a minute. Maybe Bryan Murray could do a Heatley-Hossa swap. Again. One thing’s for sure: Heatley’s trade, wherever he goes, will have a big impact on where Hossa could sign as a UFA and how much the contract is worth.