No time for regrets

Marian Hossa’s combination of size, speed and skill helped the banged-up Detroit Red Wings finish off Chicago to set up a Stanley Cup final rematch with the team he spurned.

Marian Hossa (91) risked a lot of money and stability to join Niklas Kronwall (55) and the Detroit Red Wings for a shot at the Stanley Cup.

DETROIT — Marian Hossa’s combination of size, speed and skill helped the banged-up Detroit Red Wings finish off Chicago to set up a Stanley Cup final rematch with the team he spurned.

“I thought he was the best player on the ice last night,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday, a day after Detroit’s series-clinching win against the Blackhawks. “I also thought he was also the best player on the ice in the previous game at Chicago.

“We were missing Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom in both games, so it was great to have him step up like he did.”

If Hossa can help Detroit hoist the Cup, his eyebrow-raising decision last summer will be validated.

The marquee free agent signed with Detroit at a relative discount for about US$7.5 million, declining an offer estimated to be worth $49 million to remain with the runner-up Pittsburgh Penguins and reportedly many more millions to play in Edmonton.

“It should be interesting,” Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. “We all know the reason why he left us to go there.

“It will be cool to face him, but we can’t overthink it.”

If Pittsburgh beats Hossa and the defending champions, he will have lost a championship, a lot of money and long-term stability.

“I have to make this not too big a distraction,” he said Wednesday night following Detroit’s 2-1 overtime victory. “I just have to use it as an advantage.”

Hossa is hailed for his dazzling talents in Detroit, and is vilified in Pittsburgh for leaving.

The cheers Hossa hears in Game 1 on Saturday and Game 2 on Sunday likely won’t be as loud as the jeers that will cascade on him when the series shifts venues.

When Hossa played Feb. 8 at Pittsburgh, he was booed early and often.

A former teammate isn’t sure that provides a home-ice advantage for the Penguins.

“I know myself as a player, when players get booed in other buildings, it just motivates you and makes you want to want to do better,” Brooks Orpik said. “If our fans want to boo him, I don’t know how much good it’s going to do us. He’s a great player, it was weird what happened, but everyone respects him as a guy and as a player. It was a tough decision for him, but we’ve got a chance to beat him here.”

Win or lose, the Red Wings would like to keep Hossa around.

Holland, Hossa and his agent did some negotiating during the season, but both sides chose to put talks on hold until after the season.

“I like it here a lot, but we both decided to stop talking to focus on the playoffs,” Hossa said earlier this post-season. “We’ll see what happens.”

Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne recalled saying, “the rich got richer,” when he and other NHL players and fans were stunned by the news of Hossa signing a one-year deal with the Wings last summer.

Selanne, though, understood why Hossa made the rare decision to leave money on the table.

“Winning the Cup is priceless,” Selanne said during the second round of the playoffs.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read