Why hate Marian Hossa?
He chose the right team.
He chose the better team.
The team he said no to was a Michele Therrien coached team. He knew that a Therrien coached team was not capable of raising Lord Stanley's Cup, and he was right.
What Hossa did was evaluate what each team had and where he felt was his best chance to win the Cup, and last summer that was definitely the Detroit Red Wings.
No one can argue that.
Let us remember, the Pens were not a good team when they took Evgeni Malkin second overall in 2004 Entry Draft. They were not a very good team at all prior to the NHL giving them Sidney Crosby first overall in the 2005 Entry Draft.
They were closer to moving to Kansas City or Hamilton than they were to Lord Stanley.
The Wings have not had an early round pick since they took Martin LaPointe 10th overall in 1991, and we know that they haven't missed the playoffs since.
Making sound back-office decisions has made the Red Wings the best franchise in the NHL.
Eighteen years in a row of playing hockey in May and June carries weight for players seeking to win and win consistently—90+ playoff games since the start of 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Wings first Cup of the decade and four Cups in 11 years.
The Pens are a team made up of No. 1 and No. 2 picks overall: Fleury, Staal, Malkin, and Crosby.
They had to be a pretty poor team to become a really good team.
The Pens, who were five points out of the playoffs this February, made a coaching change. They were in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and looking very much like your pre-Crosby Penguins.
That's the team Hossa said no to.
Hossa says he has no regrets, "I don't regret it. It could be different circumstances if I signed with Pittsburgh. They probably would've signed some other players and been a different team. We could sit here for hours discussing this. It could've been a different team, so I don't regret it."
So when the Pens changed coaches, the team got life. They played for Dan Bylsma. He coached for them.
It was the perfect match.
That is what made this team so strong late in the season.
They also added Chris Kunitz through a trade, and that helped with depth and talent for the Pens.
They didn't jump to a fourth-seed by playing bad hockey. They are a very well coached team with very good players, and one exceptional player in Evgeni Malkin.
Hossa, who struggled in the Finals, was a great addition to the Wings whose talent helped the Wings to the Finals. His play in the Finals was less than stellar, but the Wings loss was more than just Hossa.
It had to do with what Pittsburgh was able to do. They were the better team on Friday, and far better than the Therrien coached team which Hossa said no to.
I'm not saying that the fans don't have a reason to loathe Hossa; he took less money to play for a consistent winner.
Why would he think that anything would change with the team they had in Pittsburgh?
He was right about that team.
He saw that team first hand lose the Stanley Cup. They played okay, but were no where near the level of the Red Wings. Bylsma was capable of getting them to that level. He was coaching in the AHL when Hossa said no to Pittsburgh.
So to Hossa, it seemed that Detroit was the best team to win, win a Cup, and win it now.
They won, but didn't win the Cup.
Hats off Pittsburgh.
Now, let's see if you can carry that pedigree for years to come, cause if you had it, Hossa stays and you may or may not win the Cup.
I don't see it happening, but I also didn't see the Red Wings losing.
So, I guess pigs can fly!