Marian Hossa helped the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup final after coming over from Atlanta at the trade deadline. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Okay, this is starting to get a little unfair.
The one-year, $7.4 million deal Marian Hossa signed Wednesday with the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings gives that team such an advantage (at least, on paper), the NHL ought to spot Detroit’s playoff opponents a game’s lead in each series next spring.
Now, if Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom and Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall don’t burn you, there’s another fire source where that came from.
Now, the Red Wings’ power play – which was already the third-best in the league this season – will be even more dangerous.
Now, Detroit’s 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio – which was already miles better (1.41) than the NHL’s second-best team (Anaheim’s was 1.17) – will be that much more outstanding.
Best of all, the single-year term of the deal puts the Wings in the driver’s seat this time next summer. If Hossa fits well with the team, he’ll get an extension from GM Ken Holland; if he doesn’t work out as planned, Holland has his money to sink into either an extension for Zetterberg or a different, top-line UFA.
In any case, the Hossa signing makes the Wings the prohibitive favorite to not only win another championship, but also the first repeat champion since – you guessed it –Detroit did so from 1997-98.
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