Marian Hossa Signs With Chicago
For the second year in a row Marian Hossa has left the Stanley Cup runner-up in free agency. Unlike a year ago when he signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings, multiple media outlets are reporting on Wednesday that Hossa has signed a long-term, 12-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. The contract reportedly carries a cap hit of just over $5 million per season.
And with that, the Blackhawks, coming off a trip to the Western Conference finals, have become a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
The cap hit itself is definitely reasonable, and there's no question that adding a 40-goal, two-way player makes the Blackhawks a significantly better team; but a 12-year deal? He'll be 42 when that contract ends! This is also the second year in a row Chicago has made a huge splash early in free agency, as it signed defenseman Brian Campbell to an eight-year, $51 million contract a year ago. Say this about Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon: he's not afraid to make bold moves.
The concern for the Blackhawks now has to be the future of their salary cap situation. They have some major players due for raises in the very near future, including youngsters Jonathan Toews (their captain), Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Andrew Ladd, while Cam Barker is eligible for free restricted free agency right now.
Adding Hossa's deal into the mix, the Blackhawks now have, roughly, $44 million committed to 13 players for 2009-10.
Hossa was the talk of free agency a year ago when he turned down a number of lucrative long-term deals to sign a one-year contract with the Red Wings because, in his mind, it gave him the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. While the Red Wings returned to the finals for a second year in a row, they lost to the Penguins in seven games while Hossa scored no goals.