Here's the thing that I asked [to yahoo/going five hole writer Sean] Leahy last week, and he really didn't have an answer on behalf of Pittsburgh Penguins fans: If Hossa fails to win a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, what would it take to forgive him if he showed an interest in coming back to the Penguins?
A full-on apology for his avarice? A daily foot massage for Maxime Talbot for the duration of their contracts? Or has this bridge been permanently burned? Is Marian Hossa now dead to Penguins fans?
As we're ought to do, we turn to a hair-band for the answer. In this instance was it not Motley Crue who taught "don't go away mad, just go away"?
In the long-run, Penguins fans shouldn't be mad. Of course, the human nature is to hold a grudge that Hossa believed he'd have a better shot of winning the Cup in Detroit that Pittsburgh, but a neutral observer would probably tell you that's a good bet.
Even though Hossa only pulled on the black and gold jersey 32 times, the trade was worth it:
- The cost really wasn't that bad--guys like Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis are just as good as Colby Armstrong; Erik Christensen wouldn't be a top 6 forward this year; and the two first round prospects (Angelo Esposito and Daultan Leveille) are still a-ways away from producing in the NHL, if they ever even make it there.
- The message the trade sent was the front office didn't expect just gradual improvement: they wanted to be bold and embolden the players to dream big.
- The Penguins got two games from winning the Stanley Cup, and Hossa played his role wonderfully.
Further, it wasn't just Hossa's choice to go to Detroit, he bent over backwards to make it happen. Consider (emphasis added):
We were dreaming thinking we could add either [Hossa or Mats Sundin] to our team because we were looking at one year deals.
"I went to bed last night thinking we were going to be by the way side."
Hossa's agent, Ritch Winter, called Holland in the morning and said his
client was on the line and willing to discuss a one-year contract.
"I asked what they were looking for," Holland told Landsberg. "It was north of 7.5 (million). I told them I was uncomfortable (having Hossa make more than Lidstrom).
"In the end, Marian Hossa told me to not bother calling Nik, one year at 7.45 - it was a done deal."
I had to compare the two teams, and there's a little better chance to win the Cup in Detroit. I had a great time with Sid and playing on the power play with Geno, but the team in Detroit is something special. I know it's a short term, but we never talked about a one-year [deal] with Pittsburgh. We just talked about a long-term deal. I totally believe Detroit has the kind of team that can win it again."