Well, Hossa has arrived at his apparent destiny. Making a unique kind of NHL history, he will play in his third consecutive Stanley Cup Final with his third different team. Perhaps this time he'll be the one laughing in the end.
"It's not about me," Hossa said after the Blackhawks completed their four-game sweep of the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Final. "But I will say that I'm very happy and I'm very proud to be part of this team. Getting to the Stanley Cup Final is always special. It is never easy. Maybe like they say, the third time will be the lucky charm for me."
Hossa was a blockbuster trade deadline acquisition of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008 when they lost in the Final in seven games to the Detroit Red Wings. That summer, he spurned a contract offer from Pittsburgh to sign with Detroit. Hossa and the Red Wings lost in seven games in the Final a year ago. The jokes about him being on the wrong side of the ultimate result in two straight Junes began.
Last July 1, the all-star right wing inked a jaw-dropping 12-year contract worth $62.8 million. The Blackhawks believed they had found the ideal veteran scorer to help their young team make the jump from contender to champion. So far so good, even though Hossa has not been spectacular.
The Blackhawks managed to reach the 2010 Stanley Cup Final despite Hossa -- a three-time 40-goal scorer -- getting only two goals in 16 playoff games this spring. At times, he has been victimized by superb defense, like Sharks defenseman Rob Blake's save in a goalmouth scramble in Game 3. At others, Hossa has been inarguably ineffective. He was held without a point in Chicago's 4-2 clincher on Sunday.
Joel Quenneville continues to insist, however unconvincingly, that as long as Hossa is doing "the little things" the coach has no problem with his play. "He's had some great chances in the last three games," Quenneville said. "But he's a threat. His speed certainly backs people off. You know, I just think defensively, you know, you can't ask for him to do anything more. His backside pressure, his stick, his strength in the puck area. But I think there's a lot of time where they got to be aware of him on the ice because he creates a lot. He's dangerous, creates a threat, and defensively gets the job done."
Still, Hossa was not brought to Chicago on a mega-deal to ride shotgun with the grinders.
Then again, maybe Hossa is just saving up his goals to be a Stanley Cup hero.
In his third attempt at winning the Stanley Cup, Hossa is counting on it.