The Hossa Rules

It has been four long months and twenty-four days, but on Wednesday, Marian Hossa will make his long-awaited debut for your Chicago Blackhawks.  There has been a lot of growing excitement about what this team will look like once Hossa is here for good. 

What are the lines going to be?  How good are the Hawks going to be now?  How quickly will Hossa acclimate himself to the team?

These are just some of the questions being asked on a daily basis.  They are all legitimate questions and by Wednesday, we should start to get a better answer on all of them.

However, there are a few rules that need to be laid down before all this hoopla reaches a frenzied pitch. 

  • Marian Hossa did not participate in the pre-season;  this is his pre-season.  Therefore, it will probably take more than a couple games for him to get his sea legs back.  Even if he plays out of his Slovakian mind on Wednesday, he’s probably going to look a little sluggish for the first couple weeks.  No need to panic if things don’t start off exactly as you planned.  The Hawks didn’t sign Sergei Berezin to a 12-year deal.
  • Marian Hossa’s presence will NOT affect the team’s precious chemistry.  I have a feeling this will become a huge outcry.  With the Hawks in the midst of a 7-game winning streak and everything seeming to go their way, it’s only a matter of time before they lose a couple games in a row.  Naturally, Hossa will probably end up catching the brunt of the blame from ill-informed meatballs.  If the Hawks end up dropping a couple games upon Hossa’s return, it’s not because he doesn’t enjoy reveling in the Blackhawks post-game shenanigans like snapping towels at Patrick Kane in the shower; it’s simply the law of averages.
  • It won’t always be Marian Hossa’s fault.  Thanks to his sub-par showing in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals, Hossa has become a popular target for fans to blame all their team’s short-comings on.  Just like Jay Cutler, Hossa will have an enormous bullseye on his back.  Even when he’s not to blame, people will still search for reasons why it will be his fault.  Please don’t fall into this trap.
  • The Hawks will not automatically win the Western Conference simply because of Hossa.  It’s going to be very easy for some to simply point to Hossa’s return, the current state of the Hawks, and say, “This is it.  They’re going all the way now.”  While it certainly puts them among the front-runners of the conference, there is way too much season left to proclaim the Hawks are, for certain, guaranteed to win the conference. 

–In other Hawk news, the Toronto media is all over the latest rumor of ‘Brent Sopel and a draft pick to the Maple Leafs.’  If the Hawks are going to unload any player currently on their roster to clear cap space for the announcement of the Big Three, it will be Sopel.  They can’t trade Versteeg or Barker in a mid-season salary dump without seriously affecting their current chances.  

While Sopel has performed more than admirably this season, people aren’t going to pine for his services if he is shipped away.  Nor will the Hawks particularly miss him.  Unless, of course, they become riddled with injuries and there’s not much you can do about that anyways.

–This is usually Bobby’s territory but the Florida Panthers debuted their new third jersey on Monday night.  While I am a sucker for any combination of blue, I’m completely befuddled why the Panthers would choose that color scheme for their third jersey.  

Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s usually not customary for a team to completely re-invent their colors when drafting third digs.

That being said (h/t to Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld), I love the traditional style of the jersey.  I love the pants and socks.  And I know Bobby loves that there is no vertical piping or whatever he calls it.

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31 Responses to The Hossa Rules

  1. Dave Morris says:

    There’s nothing like an Original Six jersey.

    And there’s nothing like a Blackhawks jersey.

    When The Hoss Man comes back, get ready for a Slovak attack.

    Slovaks rock like the mighty Black Hawk.

    Just ask Stan Mikita.

    And Chicago, Ladies and Gentlemen, is where Mr. Hossa has always wanted to be…he’s come a long way from Stara Lubovna to get here.

    Ottawa, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Detroit…all just rungs on the ladder for this first round pick who always gives his level best.

    An elite player, a humble guy, and one who believes in T-E-A-M.

    Like Marian says, “We’re gonna go up the hill together, step by step.”

    Na zdravie!

  2. Jeff Bartl says:

    Ha, we must have posted this same topic at the nearly the same time. I’m just hoping the fans can be a bit patient and not expect Q to set the lines in stone, not expect him to set the world on fire right off the bat or start crying when the winning streak ends — because it will, and it won’t be because Hossa came back in the middle of it.

  3. feyer says:

    If Toronto truly wants to “shake things up”, it is hard for me to believe that the offensively challenged Sopel is part of that plan.

  4. Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler says:

    It’s seems funny now to look back at the meatballs saying the Hossa signing was a mistake because of this shoulder injury. Sitting at 15-5-2 and getting a healthy Hossa who will logically be better than the injured Hossa of ’08-’09 is pretty damn scary to the rest of the NHL.

  5. Lou says:

    We can always blame Cutler! Sorry, wrong sport

    Great points as usual

    Hossa gives a solid team even more firepower. I also think the Chemistry issue off the ice was well understood before they signed him. This is a tight knit team and the Bowmans did their homework.

    I think a small trade is forthcoming but I am struggling with giving away Sopel and Second without getting something back whether it is a later pic or a mid level prospect.

    On a different topic, I wonder if Brent Sutter actually kicked Dion Phaneufs ass?

  6. Patrick says:

    Good post – any news on how Bolland’s recuperation is going?

  7. JM says:

    I guess I needed this. I shouldn’t have bet my friend that the Hawks would win 8-0 Wednesday night, on route to a 72 win season.

  8. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> good to see you’re not nibbling at the rumor buffet today…you know that junk food ain’t no good fer ya.
    ;-)

    Meanwhile, those vultures at TSN keep pecking at the “Hawks Gotta Trade Somebody Yesterday” dead horse. They’re persistent, if nothing else.

    Bring on Da Hoss Man!

    Factoid: Hossa and Mikita are only two Slovak-born NHL players to go to the Stanley Cup Finals two years in a row.

    Use as directed.

  9. Lou says:

    Dave, I read them I am just humored by the speculation today

  10. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> at least you gave up pork rinds and ho-ho’s. There’s hope. ;-)

  11. Lou says:

    @ Dave I see you have been in active dialogue today!.

    Never give up the ho-ho’s!!!!!

  12. Lee says:

    Hockey Buzz has Sharp going to Toronto!!!

  13. Lou says:

    Hockey buzz probably has Tie Domi coming here. Make sure you have a shot and a beer or two when dealing with that site.

  14. Dave Morris says:

    @Lee> I predicted Sharp to the Leafs months ago. Ek is stealing my material.
    ;-)

    The Burke wanted to fly StanBow up to Hogtown to talk turkey because Burkie knows his goose is almost cooked.

    Brian proposed Sharp and Barker for anybody StanBow wants, plus a lifetime supply of strippers.

    Stan, being the busy guy he is, sent Capable Kev Cheveldayoff to check out the scene.

    Stay tuned. Video at 11.

  15. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> …your liver, Lou. Ginger ale for you only, pal. I’m worried.

    In other news, Darren Dreger has been traded to the Lingerie Football League.

    Pam Anderson takes over his chair at TSN. Canadian content, eh.

  16. Lee says:

    Toronto seem to think Hawks want Ian White. Who is he?

  17. Lee says:

    Jaeckel has a very interesting blog on the buzz

  18. John says:

    Lee, I too would like to live in a world where Ilya Kovalchuk is underrated and Ham Sandwich deserves $3 million per year.

    Unfortunately, that’s not reality.

  19. Dave Morris says:

    @Lee> Ian White is one of the Leafs’ better defensemen…solid, if smallish.

    Versatile, can play D or forward. Reasonable 5/6 d-man and utility player. Profile and scouting report here:

    http://forecaster.canada.com/faceoff/hockey/player.cgi?2840

    Johnny Jaeckel does a darn good blog. We should invite JJ to drop in to join the FeatherFrenz.

  20. Patrick says:

    If we’re going to make any moves, this is what I’d do:

    Buff + Sopel to the Avs for Adam Foote and a draft pick – he’s old and might be injury prone, but Foote is tough as nails and has Cup experience, and would be a great partner for Barker for a year.

    While dumping Buff probably wouldn’t be the smartest move long term, because he can be inconsistent (and because Beach is on his way up, and because Bickell could pick up some of his slack now), he’s first on my list of people to use to find cap relief (Versteeg and Sharp must stay), the Hawks get a decent D-Man for a year and no cap problems this year while clearing $2MM this year and $5MM next.

    The Avs get a young power forward to go with their mix of decent newbies for the future, as well as a replacement D-man (that they’re forced to take as a package with Buff).

    There – I put it out there. I think it’s balanced and makes sense for both teams. Was trying to refrain from being a mini-GM, but I had to do it. Thoughts?

    Lastly – JJ can be very rational – there are a lot of good “reads” out there for us Hawks fan, starting with the FF…

  21. Dave Morris says:

    @Patrick> send Buff and Sopel to the Avs, potential playoff rivals?

    Whatever you’re smokin’ man, don’t bogart that joint…pass it over to me.
    ;-)

  22. Patrick says:

    I know, I know. I think the Avs will fade to a 7th or 8th seed or possibly out of the playoffs. Being a “local”, I get a lot of Avs news and I don’t think they’re quite there yet. I could be wrong though…

  23. Lou says:

    @Dave, and your worried about my liver…now I see why you like Ho-ho’s — JK!!!!

  24. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou> ho-ho’s are the perfect match for a brace of Black Russians.

    Try it sometime. ;-)

    @Patrick>seriously, Adam Foote leaving the Avs is as likely as Oprah posing for Playboy.

    But Sharpie to Toronto, now that is possible. Come to think of it, Sharpie is probably the hot trade ticket right now for offensively challenged teams.

  25. Dave Morris says:

    OK kids, enough foolin’ around…simmer down.

    From Chris Kuc at The Tribune:

    “Here are the forward lines during Tuesday’s practice:

    Kane–Toews–Hossa

    Byfuglien–Versteeg–Sharp

    Ladd–Madden–Brouwer

    Eager–Fraser–Kopecky”

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/11/hossa-ready-to-go-for-blackhawks.html

  26. Patrick says:

    Dave – remember, Foote left once before. He’s in the last year of his deal and this could be his last year overall – could happen again…

  27. Dave Morris says:

    @Patrick> lemme know what Foote does. PS Oprah was seen taking to Christie Hefner.

    Just sayin’.
    ;-)

  28. Lou says:

    Please Dave, I would like to keep my vision

  29. Fork says:

    Kopecky is also Slovak.

    He sucks.

  30. Dave Morris says:

    @Fork> that was mean.

  31. Stephen says:

    I don’t think Hossa could have had a better start.. that was awesome

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