Pens re-sign Orpik, lose Hossa
By Rob Rossi
Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Right wing Marian Hossa -- arguably the biggest prize on the NHL's free-agent market -- signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings today.
Hossa, who recorded 26 points in 20 games with the Penguins on their march to the Stanley Cup final, which they dropped in six games to Detroit, rejected three offers from Pittsburgh. Those offers, each at slightly more than $7 million annually, were for five-, six- and seven-year deals.
The Penguins, however, did reach terms on a new contract with defenseman Brooks Orpik. He was an unrestricted free agent. The terms of Orpik's deal is six years at $3.5 million annually.
Hossa said his decision came down to the Red Wings and Penguins.
"It wasn't an easy decision to make," Hossa said. "I want to have a best chance to win the Stanley Cup. I feel like Detroit is the team."
Hossa's deal with Detroit is for $7.45 million. He said it was "not easy" to decline a nine-year offer worth $9 million annually from the Edmonton Oilers.
The Penguins are not shocked Hossa decided to leave, though they did believe they were atop his list of likely future employers. However, they are disappointed he accepted a short-term deal with the Red Wings.
Hossa said after the Stanley Cup final he would take less money to play for a "good" team.
"I was speaking about a good team, but there wasn't just one team," Hossa said. "I had a couple in mind, and Pittsburgh and Detroit were two of them."
Hossa said he felt "the total package" in Detroit was better than the team he leaves behind.
"I feel strong about Detroit," Hossa said.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero will meet with the media later today to discuss the Penguins' free-agent dealings to date.
Hossa was the first of two unrestricted free agents the Penguins lost today. Left wing Jarkko Ruutu has signed a three-year deal with the Ottawa Senators. Canada's TSN reports that deal is worth $3.9 million total.
The Penguins officially announced today a contract extension with star center Evgeni Malkin. It is a five-year deal worth $8.7 million annually. He has one year remaining on his entry-level contract.
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