Marian Hossa is a Detroit Red Wing and I’m confused. According to TSN, Hossa agreed to one-year, $7.4 million contract today to join the defending Cup champs – the same Cup champs who ironically downed Hossa’s own Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals. The figure is evidently the most that the Wings organization is willing to pay a player, as they are committed to keeping Nicklas Lindstrom as the highest paid player on their roster. I guess Jaromir was on to something with that whole money and respect thing…
This is a baffling development to me. For starters, it’s unusual to see a team drop this amount of coin on a superstar player on the heels of bringing home the Stanley Cup. Moreover, I had heard nary a whisper of Detroit’s involvement in these negotiations before this news broke. Here’s what we did know: Pittsburgh was interested in retaining Hossa and had offered the winger a highly competitive offer believed to be for five years at roughly $7 million per. Hossa had declined the offer, and reportedly was considering a ridiculous contract put on the table by the Edmonton Oilers, who were rumored to be offering at least $9 million anually. The Rangers, meanwhile, find their roster devoid of a scoring winger, and indications were that Jaromir Jagr was not pleased with the offer the Rangers had presented, believed to be roughly $5 or 6 million for one-year. The general consensus seemed to be that Sather was taking a wait-and-see approach with Jagr, who was most likely the team’s Plan B behind Marian Hossa. Whether or not the Rangers actually made a competitive bid for Hossa’s services, I have no idea – though one would certainly hope so. Whatever the Rangers were willing to pay, you can bet it would have been a lot more enticing than a one-year contract, if perhaps for less annually than the $7.4 million Detroit offered. Clearly this decision wasn’t about money for Marian.
So what gives? Is Hossa so desperate for a Stanley Cup, he’ll piggy-back on the defending champs? Does he feel that a year in Detroit will be a big boon to his stat sheet and thereby secure him a monster contract next offseason? I have no clue. It certainly seemed as if there were some monster offers on the table if Hossa were interested. I can respect any athlete’s desire to win, but it’s extremely odd how this all played out.
The rest of the day should be extremely interesting as clearly the Rangers need to act quickly. If Jagr is truly Plan B, then let’s see it on the dotted line, please. If the team is instead taking a look at a guy like Markus Naslund or Mats Sundin, let’s see some aggressive action. The offseason saw a thin free agent crop to begin with, and the talent pool is drying up quickly.
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