In this edition of from the vault, take a look at former Detroit Red Wings forward Marian Hossa and his season with the organization after the 2007-08 cup run.
Picking Marian Hossa as the former Detroit Red Wings player of choice for the latest edition of from the vault may be a little off the wall, but there is a reason. In this time without sports, many people are reflecting on their reasons to become a fan of a particular team like the Red Wings.
Personally, Hossa pulls at the sentimental strings for my own Red Wings fandom since he was my favorite player, and one of the reasons I continued to follow the Red Wings. To this day, I do not know why, but after going to a game as a youngster, it was clear that the number “81” was my favorite.
Though Hossa may have only spent one season here with the Red Wings and deemed a “cup chaser” by some, to an eight-year-old like myself, he was my favorite player. After coming back from a Stanley Cup loss with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he would sign with the Red Wings.
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He would go on a tear, scoring 40 goals and adding 31 assists for 70 points over 74 games on the season en route to the playoffs.
He would get back to the playoffs, to ultimately face the Penguins who got their revenge the second time around winning the Stanley Cup in 2008-09.
After the Stanley Cup loss, the Red Wings were faced with the tough decision of paying either Johan Franzen or Hossa to multi-year contracts, ultimately choosing to bring back Franzen.
Losing out on Hossa for future Red Wings teams was crushing for a nine-year-old to fathom. I would compare it to when the Detroit Tigers traded away Curtis Granderson, and the fanbase was crushed.
Looking back, I was eight, and though I knew most of the Red Wings roster by heart, reasons to like or dislike a player could have been quite idiotic.
It may have been something as childish as losing a videogame because of a Brett Lebda turn-over, or seeing a neat goal by Hossa on NHL Network that you try to recreate over and over. Whatever the reason was, Hossa was my favorite and his time with the Red Wings ignited that fandom.
As he moved on from the Red Wings, I followed his career path as he progressed to the Chicago Blackhawks and became known as one of the best two-way forwards in hockey. He would eventually get his chance to hoist the Stanley Cup during his time with the Blackhawks.
Now forty-one, he is out of hockey due to an illness that made it difficult to wear his hockey gear, strangely enough. He finished his career, playing in 19 seasons, totaling 1309 games, 525 goals, 609 assists, giving him 1134 points in his career.
Hossa was a three-time Stanley Cup winner when it was all said and done, an all-star in 2008-09 with the Red Wings, and a candidate for Lady Byng and Frank J. Selke awards multiple times. Though he only spent the one season with the Red Wings, he is a part of Ken Holland‘s wizardry.
Looking back, I was raised to love Steve Yzerman, but he retired when I was six years old, my fandom switched over to Nicklas Lidstrom until 2008 when the team brought in Hossa. Looking back, I still wish the organization would have re-signed him instead of Franzen.
The Detroit Red Wings made a mistake with Marian Hossa, but his single 71 point season back in 2008-09 makes him a part of the organizations’ vault of former players.