Marian Hossa to Zurich

Slovak signs with Chicago; plays in Victoria Cup in September

02.07.2009
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Slovak Marian Hossa signed a 12-year contract with Victoria Cup participant Chicago. Photo: Jani Rajamaki / HHOF-IIHF Images

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks became even better and more exciting by signing star winger Marian Hossa to a 12-year contract. European fans rejoice – Hossa & the Hawks can be seen live at the Victoria Cup in Zurich in September.

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Scroll down for links of all free-agent signings (TSN) and to the Hockey News' expert analysis of every signing.


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The contract is front-loaded with about $59.3 million paid out over the first eight years, and $3.5 million total for the final four years. Hossa will be averaging $5.2 million a season. Chicago also added another Slovak from Detroit; forward Tomas Kopecky, a 2008 Stanley Cup winner.

"To add Marian, an elite and world-class player, and Tomas, a Stanley Cup Champion, to our exciting young core reinforces our commitment to try to win the Stanley Cup," Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon said in a statement.

But before engaging in the contest for the Stanley Cup, the Chicago Blackhawks will play Swiss champion HC Davos on September 28 at Zurich’s Hallenstadion before taking Champions Hockey League winner ZSC Lions Zurich in the Victoria Cup game on September 29.

Click here for tickets to the Victoria Cup event.

Hossa's story has been well documented over the past year, leaving Pittsburgh after their Cup loss to Detroit in 2008, only to join the very team that defeated them. Then he was forced to watch from the sidelines again, this time as a member of the Red Wings, while the Penguins hoisted the Cup this past season.

After scoring a team-leading 40 goals in the regular season, Hossa's production dropped off significantly during the Red Wings' 2009 playoff run. The 11-year veteran scored just six goals in 23 games, despite matching his season average of over 18 minutes of ice time per game.

Originally a first-round draft pick by the Ottawa Senators in 1997, Hossa has been named to five NHL all-star teams and has recorded 339 goals and 719 points in 775 career games.

Kopecky, 27, also spent the 2008-09 season in Detroit, his fourth with the club. He finished second on the team with 109 hits while posting career highs with six goals, 13 assists and 19 points in 79 regular season games. The Ilava, Slovakia, native also dished out one assist in eight Stanley Cup games with Detroit last season.

He has appeared in 183 regular season games with the Red Wings over the last four seasons notching 32 points (12G, 20A) and 113 penalty minutes. Kopecky was originally drafted by Detroit with their second choice (38th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and helped the team capture the Stanley Cup in 2008.

In the salary cap era though, a team has to give up players when adding stars who command major salaries. Chicago lost goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin who signed with Edmonton.

Click here for a summary of all free-agent signings on Day 1 of the free-agent period.

Click here for the most thorough analysis of every free-agent signing from The Hockey News.

– with files from TSN.ca


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