Thursday, June 10, 2010

Made Marian

It took thirty-one years, but the last three have provided the drama.  In 2008 he was the Hired Gun.  The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired him from the Atlanta Thrashers to ride shotgun with Sid the Kid.  He had no choice in that one.  He was going to be a free agent at the end of the season and Atlanta knew he wouldn't re-sign.  They wanted to get a return and Ray Shero offered the best deal.  He did his part and Pittsburgh found itself in the Stanley Cup Finals.  They came up a few wins short losing in six games to the Detroit Red Wings.

In 2009 he was The Traitor.  The summer after his stint in Pittsburgh he was the prize of the free agent class, coveted by all.  He turned down an $80 million offer from the Edmonton Oilers.  He turned down an offer from his new team the Penguins.  He said he wanted a ring.  He signed his name on a one-year contract offered by the Cup holders, the Red Wings.  He felt Detroit gave him the best chance to have his name engraved on Lord Stanley's hardware.  He took $8 million instead of eighty.

Pittsburgh felt spurned--and more.  The players and front office people didn't say much but the fans were mad as hell, cursing his name.  But his logic appeared sound as Detroit cruised through the playoffs and again made the Cup Finals.  Then Fate and Irony had a laugh and the Wings drew the Penguins for the second year in a row.  It came down to a Seventh Game in Detroit.  It seemed like a sure thing.  Pittsburgh had managed but two goals in the first three games played at the Joe.  He would have his moment.  Quebecois Max Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury had a different agenda.  The Cup got raised in Detroit that year, but he had to watch.

Another off-season, another beauty contest.  The belle of the ball chose Chicago this time and did it with conviction.  He signed a 12-year deal worth $62.8 million.  He missed the first quarter of the season due to surgery on his shoulder, but when he returned he was again one of the best forwards in the game.  Chicago rolled through the playoffs and found themselves heavy favorites in the Finals against the surprising Philadelphia Flyers.  Third time's the charm right?  Chicago won a thriller in OT of Game Six and took the series four games to two.   The Cup will reside in the Windy City for the first time since 1961.

And sometime this summer his name will be engraved on the Stanley Cup.  This year he's Marian Hossa, Stanley Cup Champion.


Conor's Mum said...

Lets keep in mind the coaching was a big issue and he had an out. Had he known that Therrien's days were numbered, I believe he would have stayed.
Did you see Jeremy Roenick cry? That kinda moved me when he said "For the kid who was there in 1992 who was crying when I came off the ice in after we lost Game 4 at Chicago Stadium -- you waited 18 years,I hope you have a big smile on your face. Congratulations."

The Hammer said...

Nice, Conor's Mum. Yep, possibly true. I did see JR tear up. I think he was probably crying because he had to share the moment with Mike Milbury and Dan Patrick as opposed to someone who knew something about hockey.

But it was a good line about the kid.

Conor's Mum said...

Chicago we introduce you to Stanley Cup, Stanley Cup that is Chicago. Have fun over the next year. It was very nice spending the last year with you. We will see you back in the Burgh soon. I thought an introduction is on order since it has been awhile.