The Photoshop attacks on Marian Hossa have already started over on The Pensblog, and we wouldn't dare tell a Pittsburgh Penguins fan today that he or she isn't allowed a few moments of unadulterated rage and frustration against Hossa and anyone else involved in the Great Steel City Exodus of 2008.
Let Jeff H. on The Pensblog tie a rope around Hossa in a Winged Wheel sweater and dangle him over money bags. Let The Steel City Sports Fan proclaim that Hossa is a perfect fit with the Detroit Red Wings because he'll be a great addition to their "Arrogance on Ice" routine. Let SnoopyJode of The Sidney Crosby Show slam Hossa for declarations of faith to the Penguins before he turned around and signed with the team that ended his season.
All of these emotions are completely understandable because Hossa said this: "I want to have a best chance to win the Stanley Cup. I feel like Detroit is the team."
Ouch. Just ouch. Hossa is so certain about the Red Wings giving him a better shot to win than the Penguins that he's willing to risk tens of millions on a one-year contract and the chance an injury could derail his financial future. An agent told Rob Rossi of Chipped Ice that the one-year deal in Detroit is "a huge slap to the face of Pittsburgh and Sid (Crosby)." The fans felt the impact, too.
That's why today's MVP is Brooks Orpik, who has been watching the kingdom crumble but decided to come back to Pittsburgh. Orpik's decision reminded us of "Jerry Maguire," when Bob Sugar is on the phone stealing all of Jerry's clients while Maguire works his behind off just to keep Rod Tidwell from leaving. Orpik signed a six-year, $22.5 million deal that averages out to $3.75 million per year. The best defensive defenseman on the market will make less than Ron Hainsey. So it wasn't so much Ray Shero screaming "show me the money," as it was "I love Brooks Orpik ... here's your sixth year."
It's a brief sigh of relief amidst the rage. Although the rage returns so easily. Like when you hear Detroit GM Ken Holland describe the process of signing Hossa in the just-released video below, saying that "Marian told me at that time he would love to play for the Red Wings" ... back at the trade deadline.