ShareThis Page

Pens' Hossa emphasizing Cup over cash

Kevin Gorman
| Saturday, June 7, 2008

Marian Hossa said for the first time Friday that he will entertain the idea of taking less money to play for a Stanley Cup contender, and believes the Penguins fit the bill as a great team.

The high-scoring right wing figures to command a top salary when he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"If I wanted to make a couple more dollars, I would probably just re-sign with Atlanta," said Hossa, whose 12 goals and 26 points in the playoffs were exactly what the Penguins were seeking when they acquired him from the Thrashers on Feb. 26. "But I'm glad Pittsburgh got me here. This was a fun journey for myself, and a great experience. I hope I can stick with a great team like this. ...

"There's always a limit, but I'd rather take a little less and play on a good team, definitely."

Penguins general manager Ray Shero did not speak to the media yesterday, when players cleared out their lockers at Mellon Arena. But captain Sidney Crosby made it clear that he does not want to enter next season the way he did this one -- without a high-scoring winger to make best use of his talent as a set-up man.

Crosby, whose five-year, $43.5-million extension begins this fall, said yesterday that he is willing to drop his tag as the team's highest-paid player in order to keep his right-hand man in Hossa.

"I want to play with him," Crosby said. "He's a great player. I hope it works out that he's able to stay. He's a great person. He works hard. I enjoy playing with him. As we played together more and got used to each other, things started to happen, and it was a lot of fun out there. It would be a lot of fun to keep playing with someone like that. I hope it works out."

Hossa reciprocated the affinity for playing alongside Crosby -- he scored 10 points in 12 regular-season games and, counting the playoffs, finished with 36 points in 32 games with the Penguins -- but put the onus on Shero to keep them on the same line.

"Sid is an incredible player and even better person," Hossa said. "But there's lot of players to be signed. We'll see what's going to happen. I'm sure Ray's going to do everything he can to keep everybody together."

At 29, Hossa is in position to secure a long-term deal with a substantial raise on his $7 million salary of this past season.

Crosby said he would neither meddle with management about whom to keep and how much to pay nor persuade his teammates to give the Penguins a hometown discount the way he did last July.

"That was my choice," Crosby said. "Every guy works hard to earn a certain amount of money. I'd never put pressure on them to do that because that's solely up to them. They work too hard to do that. That's a personal thing.

"Hopefully, we can keep everyone. If not, you wish the guy good luck and move on. That's probably the hardest part, knowing that there's not going to be the same guys here."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.