A couple of years ago in Traverse City at the prospects camp, I spoke with someone who worked with the Atlanta players (the Thrashers were one of eight teams that sent prospects to the camp). He said that the most difficult Thrasher he had to deal with was Ilya Kovalchuk and that without hesitation the easiest Thrasher to deal with was Hossa.
I've also heard good things about Hossa from Andreas Lilja and Dan Cleary who were his teammates for a short time in Sweden during the lockout season and from Tomas Kopecky, who works out with Hossa in Slovakia during the summer.
Again, the on-ice performance is what matters. But from someone who lingers around the locker room, the Red Wings are a good group of people and I do believe that factored into the decision to pursue Hossa. Well that and 40 goals with strong defense.