What I've been telling myself ...
1. For the 30,000th time: He would've made an disgusting amount of money had he taken what the Oilers reportedly offered him last summer. That's money that he won't ever be able to make back in this lifetime.
2. He turned that down and went out of his way to jump on board with Detroit.
3. He made it explicitly clear that he thought Detroit gave him a better chance to win a Cup than Pittsburgh. Like, he admitted that. Out loud. That was both a motion of great respect toward the Wings' organization and a hilarious slap in the face to the Penguins. (Whatever arrogance you perceive the prior sentence to contain, please note that it's overshadowed by the irreparable damaged sustained from the 2009 Stanely Cup Finals, and that I sob uncontrollably whenever I type "Detroit" and "Pittsburgh in the same sentence.)
4. When he was on a roll, it was a truly amazing thing to watch. Awe-inspiring level of skill. I have never seen a wrist shot like that.
5. Although the 1 to 1.5$ million/per year difference doesn't sound like much, it adds up over the course of 12 years.
6. He doesn't really seem like that much of a dick.
When he comes to JLA next season, I'll boo at my TV. That doesn't mean I hate the guy, or that I don't appreciate what he did for the Wings this year, or that I'm a classless prick. It means that I'm a fucking idiot because I'm booing at a TV.
It also means that he plays for our arch division rival, and I'm not cheering or well-wishing anybody in that uniform. That was his choice. He couldn't have been completely oblivious to what the repercussions of this decision will have. Oh, that has me thinking ....
Let's run this down: Hossa was ferocious in the 2008 Finals, the deepest in the playoffs he's ever been; He comes to Detroit with the pressure that he has one year to win a Cup; he plays a very good regular season, hits a slight decline in the first three rounds, and then has us scratching our heads with his inconsistent play in against Pittsburgh. He was beyond tentative, neglecting opportunity after opportunity to push toward the net. No major injury was reported, leading us to the assumption that it was simply a colossal amount of pressure that got to him in the postseason. So now, say the Wings and Hawks meet again in the '10 Conference Finals -- how's he going to respond? If he thought the pressure of the first go-around was intense, what about the pressure of having the same deja-vu situation happen again??
That's assuming a ton, though. It assumes that the young Hawks won't take this season for granted, thinking that rebounding and returning to the WCF will be easy. It assumes that the Q-Stache can win two playoff series for the second straight year. It assumes that the Wings won't be dead by May, considering it would be a fourth consecutive trip to the 3rd round, and half the team will play in the Olympics in February. And it assumes playoff seeding and lame shit like that.
Pointless Dream Scenario:
1. Wings beat the Hawks on the last day of the regular season to win the Central Division and the #1 seed in the West. With one second remaining in the 3rd and the Hawks down a goal, Hossa is awarded a penalty shot after Nik Kronwall asks him what the square root of 13 is. Hossa then flies down the right side, pulls up, and drops a pass back to nobody at the blue line.
2. The Wings defeat the Ducks in the first round via a sweep, this coming after Scott Niedermayer is suspended for selling weed to middle schoolers.
3. The Wings beat the Hawks in the Conference Finals. Instead of the presentation of the Clarence Campbell Bowl, Nick Lidstrom forces Patrick Sharp to kiss his ball sack.
4. The Wings meet the Pens for the 3rd installment of their Stanley Cup Finals trilogy. Max Talbot gets scurvy. In Game 5 at Joe Louis, the League mandates that the two teams set up the exact scenario that led to the Wings storming back to a 3-2 lead as they did in Game 5 of the '08 Finals, reasoning that "they were just supposed to win that game." At the 34.7 mark of the 3rd period, the scoreboard starts to explode like at the end of The Natural, Konstantinov skates out onto the ice and checks Malkin's head off his shoulders, the Wings win the Cup, and the Earth collides with the Sun.