Blog Entry

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

Posted on: July 1, 2009 5:21 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2009 5:38 pm

Dale Tallon has gotten pretty good at making a big free agent splash, so his signing of Marian Hossa to a mega deal probably shouldn't come as a surprise.

The Chicago Blackhawks are an organization that made remarkable strides last season and reconnected with its fan base, and keeping the momentum going through the ticket selling time in the summer is important to it. Naturally landing the biggest name out there helps, but it doesn't always work. Tallon is still trying to extricate himself lately from the big contracts he gave Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell just last summer, and now he's decided to lock into another expensive player who has yet to prove he's a real difference maker. 

Neither Huet or Campbell really justified their salaries, and this latest signing has the potential to be a similar handcuff for Tallon because Hossa has an annual cap hit of $5.23 million for the next 12 years and the Chicago GM will soon have to re-sign young core Stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.

Hossa may be an elite forward, but he moved to Detroit las season because he thought he could win a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings and didn't because he pulled a Houdini in the playoffs. The disappearing act could have been overlooked if it was an anomoly, but those kinds of post-season efforts have been the biggest knock on Hossa's career, first in Ottawa and then in Atlanta.

Hossa did have a great 2008 playoffs as what turned out to be a rental for Pittsburgh, but he reverted to form this spring for the Red Wings, scoring only six goals -- a pair in three different games -- and none in the seven-game final against the Penguins. Still Detroit made an offer to keep him before the market opened, but the Red Wings needed the cap hit to average $4 million and Hossa turned to Chicago where he'll carry more expectations than he did before.

But when it comes to money, and it has to now for Hossa, he did get an incredible deal given the times. And he's fortunate because he left around $80 million on the table last summer to pursue his Cup dreams with a one-year, $7.4 million contract from Detroit. Now the salary cap is trending downward, yet Hossa still managed to get a franchise type contract, and one that is heavily front-loaded so his take-home pay actually goes up for the next few years.

That should give Hossa time to try for a Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks aren't that far off, a really talented team that in many ways resembles the Penguins a couple of years ago. Hossa will have to be a big piece of the puzzle, but first he'll have to prove he's a better fit in the Chicago room than Martin Havlat was.

Havlat led the Blackhawks in scoring and more important stayed healthy last season. He was a key part of Chicago's surprising run to the Western Finals and liked by teammates. Havlat earned $6 million last season and wanted to come back on a shorter term too. But the Blackhawks decided to put their money on Hossa.

So for Tallon's sake, Hossa has to make a much bigger impact than the free agents he brought in last year.
Category: NHL

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2009 10:58 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

So now that you gave him this contract though, how much does Kane get?  You can't win with just Kane Sharp Toews Hossa and a ? mark at goalie. 

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 2:08 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

Last 2 SCs?  You mean 08 when he had the second highest total of points scored and goals scored?  When he was mentioned as a possible Conn Smythe candidate with Sid, if the Pens had won?

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 1:34 am

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

Sorry to say it, but the wings dominance is about OVER. They're old, their young stars aren't promising, it just doesn't work out well. The wings were up and coming back in the early 90's with the russian five and Yzerman. They're not up and coming anymore. Get ready for a Chicago surprise.

Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 1:08 am

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

He still has to go through Detroit, San Jose, and Anahiem to win that's not the cakewalk in the West like it is in the East for the Penguins.C'mon bro really?  Your telling me that San "choke" Jose, Anahiem, Detroit, and Chicago is tougher than Philly, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Boston, and Pittsburgh?!? Not in a long shot. But i do agree with everything else you said.

Since: Apr 16, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 10:39 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

Talon will pay the price if he starts to lose some of the hawks young stars because he has tied the organizations hands with these long term deals

Since: Mar 8, 2009
Posted on: July 1, 2009 9:43 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

This is a great move, we needed to keep his cap hit low.  We've got Kane and Toews coming up next year.  So what he'll be on the books for 12 years, it keeps the best talent on the ice and plays the game with the salary cap the way a good GM does.  Great move by da Hawks!!!

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2009 9:09 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

how do you call him a difference maker?  He abandoned the Pens to go to a "cup contender" and he was non existant in the loss.  This guy is 29 and by the looks of his play late in the season, not the type of player that has the legs to make it thru a long playoff run. 

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2009 9:08 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

another ridiculous contract by the Hawks, when are they going to get a clue.  7+ for Campbell, now lets give a guy a contract into his 40's.  Chicago needs to hope they win in the next 2 seasons or it's not going to happen for a decade at least!

Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: July 1, 2009 8:23 pm

'Hawks hang their hat on Hossa

The $81 million came from Edmonton for 9 years.  Pittsburgh offered $50-$52 million over 7 years.

Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: July 1, 2009 8:22 pm

Great job Goldstein you made a TYPE-O!!!!!!!!!!!!

He made a type-o.Proffesional columnist made a typing error. How stupid can you be. last has a t on the end

Hossa may be an elite forward, but he moved to Detroit las season because he thought he could win a Stanley Cup with the and didn't because he pulled a Houdini in the playoffs

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