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Monday, January 05, 2009

The Biggest Penguins Surprise in 2008

Marian Hossa signs with Detroit
Original image from: Daylife/Getty Images.

Over the next few days we will take a look back at 2008 by revealing the results of our Best of 2008 Survey. Thanks to everyone who voted.

It was like being stabbed in the back.

Marian Hossa had only been a Pittsburgh Penguin for a few months, but when he signed with the Detroit Red Wings during the offseason, Penguins fans were hurt deeply.

Marian Hossa signing with the Red Wings is the Biggest Penguins Surprise of 2008.

Maybe it hurt us because we all believed Hossa would stay. In April 2008 Hossa told the Pittburgh Tribune-Review that "You can tell this is a hockey city, and that's really important to me... Pittsburgh is a hockey market, and I like that atmosphere. You wake up the day of the game and there is a buzz. I like that."

It seemed like he wanted to stay on as a Penguin. He liked the city, he played very well with Sidney Crosby, he just seemed to fit. The Penguins were offering him a contract that paid him what he was worth and it seemed like Marian Hossa would be a Pittsburgh Penguin for a long time.

But on July 2nd, 2008 he signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings. And it hurt. It hurt because of what Hossa said as he joined the Wings.

"When I compared the two teams, I felt like I would have a little better of a chance to win the Cup in Detroit."

We'd all seen players leave the team for more money. We would have understood if he left for a higher salary, or to play in a city closer to his family, or because the Penguins were not interested in re-signing him. We wouldn't have liked it, but we would have understood.

But we were now in a situation where we had a player who fit in, who liked the city, who played well here and who was offered a large sum of money to stay... and he still left. He left because we weren't good enough. He left because the Detroit Red Wings, the team that had just beaten us for the Stanley Cup, gave him "a little better of a chance" to win.

We were hurt and we were shocked and that's why Marian Hossa signing with the Detroit Red Wings was the Biggest Penguins Surprise of 2008.

1 comment:

Damian Romano said...

The only thing I could compare it to is like having your ex-girlfriend date (or marry, rather) your worst enemy. Like you say, if he had some good reasons, one could understand. But to leave basically in your prime to win a championship and sign for one year...that's something you do when you're in your late 30's early 40's when you become a role player, not a superstar. Whatever, it is what it is. I guess we'll see in June whether he was right...but I was hoping we could prove him wrong and get there an win, though that's not looking very good now.

We NEED to win tonight over the Rangers. I believe it will give us the spark and enough confidence to go back and play some good hockey midway through the latter half of the season. LETS GO PENS!

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