The player who ended the New York Rangers season and Stanley Cup aspirations could very well be wearing blue next season. Hossa will be an unrestricted free agent this season and it does not seem likely that the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to have the cap room to re-sign him.
The Penguins first priority will most likely be to lock up their young talent such as Ryan Malone who is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. The Penguins will also have to be sure to leave cap space available for the end of next season when Evgeni Malkin will be due for what is very likely to be a long and expensive new contract.
This leaves Marian Hossa who is earning $7 million this season, to be hitting the open market on July 1. There is very little doubt that Rangers GM Glen Sather is going to make a run at signing him after the show he put on against the Rangers in this years playoffs.
In Pittsburgh, Hossa was the perfect complement for fast moving Sidney Crosby. Hossa was the finisher that Crosby did not have for most of the season. For the Rangers, Scott Gomez has not had a winger who could keep up with him. Brendan Shanahan (who is also a free agent) is a first ballot hall of famer, but being at the end of his career, was unable to skate with the lightning fast Gomez.
If Shanahan, Jaromir Jagr, and Martin Straka do not re-sign, the Rangers will have the cap space required to bring Hossa aboard. It is not out of the realm of possibility that for the second off-season in a row, the Rangers will steal the show with a big signing.
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