What's Next for Marian Hossa After Ending Up on the Wrong Side of the Cup Again?

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IJune 13, 2009

You are a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and your team just lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Detroit Red Wings.

All your life, you have dreamed of getting your name inscribed on one of the most valuable trophies in sports. You are also a free agent and when you sign your next contract, winning the Cup is all that is on your mind.

So the team that you came within two games of winning the Cup offers you a deal; a contract for eight years and an upwards of $56 million.

You play the waiting game, pondering all your options, but then decide to take a one-year deal of only $7 million to play for the team that just defeated yours.

You are now a member of the Red Wings, knowing your team has a great chance at winning the Cup, and you are right.

You have cruised all season long, enjoying great success and have now made it to the Finals for the second year in a row. But then your former team gets there as well.

That's right, the very same team that you ditched is the one you will be facing. No worries though, because you are a year older and a year wiser and will now for the first time in your life come through in the clutch; in the Finals, when your team needs you the most.

But then the nightmare of nightmares strikes and you find yourself not scoring a single goal in the finals and embarrassing yourself like you never thought possible.

The team you ran to has just lost, and you have now become a loser for two straight years on two different teams.

Sounds like a script out of Hollywood, doesn't it? Well, think again. For the Red Wings' Marian Hossa, he has felt heartache for two straight seasons now. His misery must be overwhelming.

Following last season's defeat of the Penguins, the entire hockey world expected Hossa to sign with Pittsburgh, with an eight-year deal reported to have been offered. He only played twelve regular season games but proved to be a major deadline acquisition on Ray Shero's part.

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The team came so close to a Cup victory so it was almost a guarantee that Hossa would stay, especially after what Pittsburgh gave up in return.

But Hossa does not stay; he does the unthinkable and turns down all that money for one reason and one reason only, and that is to win the Stanley Cup.

I cannot even imagine what is going through his head right now, which leads me to ask, should he just retire from the NHL?

Obviously he won't, because there will be some team out there (if not the Red Wings) that will lock him up long term for an egregious amount of money.

For the first time in a while, a player wanted winning more than money. For the first time in a while, that choice has come up empty. When he first signed with Detroit, I thought, "Wow, there is finally a player not in this for the money."

How ethical a thought. But maybe, in this world it's better not to have ethics, but to just take the money, because you never know what the reward will be.

This picture here, perfectly captures the moment of the final buzzer sounding, and the Penguins jumping in celebration while Hossa skates away in disgust.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if you are Marian Hossa right now, it may be worth a thousand tears.

But there are two sides to this; do we feel sorry for Hossa because he has now experienced shortcomings for two straight seasons in unbelievable circumstances?

Or do we laugh in his face for being a traitor to his team and jumping ship faster then passengers on the Titanic?

I will leave that up to you to decide. I was rooting hard for the Red Wings, but I will look at this particular situation impartially because I still don't know what think. Truly, this was one for the ages.

Photo credit to the graphic design genius; the enigmatic and egregious Phil Kocher. View the whole picture here.

Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.

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