I am as disappointed as any Pens fan and season ticket holder about the loss of Marian Hossa.
You can also probably guess, judging from my name and picture, I am not the biggest Red Wings fan.
Nonetheless, Marian Hossa did something yesterday that is seldom, if ever, seen in professional sports.
At the end of the season, Hossa said that he would take less money to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Though the Penguins are reported to feel "slapped in the face," the unfortunate truth for every Pens fan and/or Red Wing hater out there is that Hossa stuck to his word.
The Penguins are not yet close to the team that the Red Wings are.
Hossa would know this as well as anybody, having just finished chasing them up and down the ice for six games.
The Pens should be commended for their efforts in the finals, but it was evident from the play through the majority of each and every game that the Wings were the better team. Better passing, better shooting, better skating, better backchecking, better on special teams, better everything except the goaltender.
The Big Hoss said he wanted to take the best chance at a cup he could find. That is exactly what he got.
The Pens were unquestionably the 2nd best team in the league, but they were more than a couple inches away from being the best.
Hossa could have left for city, coaching, atmosphere, money or any combination of his liking. Instead he stuck to his word and, in doing so, walked away from at least $60 million he could have had in Edmonton.
Like his decision in teams or not, in an age where every athlete in every sport drops the nauseating cliches one after another about wanting to win, I have never heard of a player walking away from so much coin to do so.
So, though I will never, ever cheer for his team, Hossa has earned my sincere respect.