Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It'd be dumb to boo Hossa

Or, so says a guy who also turned down more money to go to another team...

"I think everyone was surprised by it ([Marian] Hossa's departure), but I've heard
people saying they are going to boo him and stuff like that, which is probably the dumbest thing I have ever heard," defenceman Brooks Orpik said. "It's a tough decision. ... He takes the one-year deal and says he wants to win. I think everyone was disappointed by it, but it's his decision and you've just got to respect it."
We think Orpik is half-right. As a player he can understand the will to win--which is probably a leading reason why he stayed in Pittsburgh instead of signing with bottom dwellers like Atlanta and Los Angeles that supposedly were among a handful of teams to offer Orpik $4+ million a season. Orpik re-signed six years at $3.75 million which is not a bad deal at all to chase other grown men around on skates.

Digressions aside, a player can understand and even accept the decision to join a new team. In today's day and age of free agency and with roster turnover in the NHL in general, it happens all the time and a byproduct of the "business". Fans, however, do not like to regard sports as a "business" as much as possible. We're paying the tickets, buying the concessions and merchandise and watching on TV, but we don't like to think of hockey as a "business". Businesses aren't fun. It's where we work. Sports are fun.

So for that reason, Orpik and blowholes like Bozo Bob Smizik need to realize there is nothing inherently dumb or mean spirited about the inevitable booing of Marian Hossa by Penguins fans when he returns to Pittsburgh. Hossa made a choice to turn his back on the Penguins and show more faith in Detroit to win the Cup. No one can really debate that he didn't have the right to do that, or even the intelligence of the question--the Red Wings did just win the Cup and have lost no core players, while the Pens have now lost 2; Hossa and Ryan Malone.

Ok, so maybe it will be mean spirited, but the fans have every right to let Hossa know what they think about his decision. Doesn't mean it wasn't right, just wasn't cool in the eyes of many of my fellow fans.

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