Back in February, at the time of the NHL trade deadline, the Boston Bruins were right in the midst of the playoff hunt, but were lacking the top-notch goal scorer that seemingly every other Eastern Conference contender had.
The Bruins had been in deadline talks with the Atlanta Thrashers about a deal for Marian Hossa, but since the Bruins were not ready to part with 20-year-old center Phil Kessel, the deal fell through, and Hossa was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hossa's contract expired at the end of the season, and all indications were that he would re-sign long-term with the Penguins.
But, as of yesterday, according to a few different published reports, the Bruins have apparently contacted Marian Hossa about signing in Boston. The official Free Agent signing period in the NHL starts July 1.
Hossa has a few ties to the Bruins that may play a key role in his future, come negotiating time. Fellow countryman Zdeno Chara is the Bruins captain, and the two are good friends dating back to their time in Ottawa together. Also a tie from Ottawa, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was the assistant GM there while Hossa was a Senator, and reports are that the two have a good relationship.
Hossa scored 29 goals during the 2007-08 regular season (which would have led the Bruins) and added 12 goals and 14 assists for the Penguins during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was second on the team in scoring only to Sydney Crosby during that time.
Hossa has 299 career goals in nine full NHL seasons. He has also proved to be very dependable, as he's averaged 77 games per season. Hossa has scored 30-plus goals in six of his nine seasons, and hit 29 goals in two of the other three years. The only time he was under 29 was his rookie season, when he scored 15 times.
Hossa is a proven scorer in the NHL, and, my God, the thought of him on the opposite wing as Patrice Bergeron with Marc Savard centering is flat out mouth-watering for Bruins fans. Savard chalked up 63 assists last year to lead the Bruins, and that was without his top scoring threat.
With some slick negotiating by Chiarelli, and some convincing by Chara, maybe Hossa will come at a cheaper price than some have predicted. All we can do is wait, and hope, that the Bruins can add what many thought, and still think, can be a top-notch goal scorer for this team in the years to come.