Superstar forward Marian Hossa's outlook heading into the 2008-09 NHL campaign is completely different than last September when he was preparing for his third season with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Skating with many of his new Red Wings' teammates at Joe Louis Arena this week, Hossa reflected on his decision to sign with Detroit this summer.
''It wasn't an easy decision to make,'' Hossa said Tuesday. ''In Pittsburgh, there were the right people around hockey and great young players coming up.''
The Thrashers shipped Hossa to Pittsburgh at the trade deadline last February where Hossa helped the Penguins march to the Stanley Cup finals.
''Obviously, Pittsburgh is going to have a great team still but like I said, at the end of the day I decided to go to Detroit. I just felt there's a little bit better chance.''
Hossa chose Detroit after turning down lucrative contract offers from other teams just for a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. He had reportedly received offers from Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver and Pittsburgh - the Oilers were rumoured to have offered a deal that would have paid $9 million annually.
''Basically, he wants to win,'' Red Wings forward and close friend Tomas Kopecky said. ''I told him there's no better place or better tradition of winning than here in Detroit. I think he made the right decision and I bet it wasn't easy to throw lots of money away, but the best chance to win the Stanley Cup is here.''
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 299 goals and 648 points in 701 career games. Hossa was shipped to Atlanta as part of the Dany Heatley trade in 2005.