"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. "
That's the mantra Marian Hossa is subscribing to these days. After losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final, Hossa today signed a one-year deal worth $7.4 million with those very Red Wings.
Hossa has jumped shipped to the arch enemy like only a paid mercenary with no allegiances would. Sports is a business, but it's usually not this cold hearted. Having such a swift change of course creates quite the story, one I'm sure you'll see plastered all over media outlets and blogs alike.
In Hossa's defense, he was only a rental. Acquired in late February, he had no allegiance to the city of Pittsburgh. But, understandably, for a city that had embraced him like a long lost son, it's certainly a hard pill to swallow. The folks in Pittsburgh aren't going to be happy but this is business, like it or not. Hossa had no allegiance to Pittsburgh only a few months ago. Money talks. Championship opportunities can be too hard to pass up. How he believes he didn't have a shot at that with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the ice next to him is hard to understand.
What's also hard to fathom -- this coming from a PR/Marketing guy, mind you -- is why Hossa would take such a risk. The Finals proved that there isn't a lot separating Detroit and Pittsburgh save for Cleveland, Lake Erie and a pair of hockey games. The Penguins are coming up in the world and the reasons to leave were few. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are two good reasons, but Malkin and Sid ain't too shabby.