How Hossa deal got done
Holland thought the deal wasn't going get done, in fact calling the thought of Hossa coming to Detroit "a dream world considering our salary cap situation for '09." The Red Wings were looking for a one-year singing to allow for cap space to sign Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen next year. Hossa had reportedly received offers as high as $81 million over nine years (from Edmonton).
But on his way down to Joe Louis Arena this morning, Holland stopped at a Mobil station and got a call from Winter. With Hossa on the other end of the call, Winter told Holland that Hossa was very, very interested in becoming a Red Wing.
Then, Winter said that their side was willing to sign a one-year contract to make the deal happen. Holland said that he was shocked. He later said that this deal happened because of Hossa and his desire to come to Detroit.
The two sides worked out a salary figure that put Hossa just behind Nicklas Lidstrom as the second highest paid Red Wing.
From Hossa's vantage point, the Red Wings give him a strong chance to win a Stanley Cup and the team plays a style that he prefers -- emphasizing two-way forward play and puck-moving defensemen.
Hossa said that he talked with fellow Slovak Tomas Kopecky -- the two are part of a group of Slovak NHLers who work out in Trencin together every summer -- and liked what he heard about Detroit's players and organization.
Both sides said in today's press conference that they hope this will be more than a one-year relationship. Holland said that he'll have a better idea in the middle of next season what the 2009-10 salary cap will be and whether he can work deals with the players he has to sign for that season.
"Hopefully this is a long-term relationship," said Holland of the Hossa/Red Wing marriage. "The hope is we can keep everyone together ... I've got some time now to see what I can do."