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Hossa breaks off talks, plans to become UFA

TSN.ca Staff

6/21/2008 7:14:37 PM

Marian Hossa's stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins could be over in a hurry, as general manager Ray Shero told reporters on Saturday that Hossa has broken off talks with him and the star winger will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Shero added that while Hossa will field offers, there's still a possibility that the Penguins could re-sign the Slovakian forward after the market opens.

The Penguins paid a steep price for Hossa at the February trade deadline, sending forwards Colby Armstrong and Eric Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and a first-round draft pick (Daultan Leveille) to the Atlanta Thrashers.

Hossa, who will arguably be the most coveted free agent come July 1, made $7 million this past season.

Hossa scored 12 goals in 20 playoff games and helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup final where they lost to the Detroit Red Wings.

The 29-year-old finished one tally behind the Detroit Red Wings' duo of Johan Franzen and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg for the postseason lead and trailed Zetterberg and Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby by one assist for the top spot.

Drafted 12th overall by Ottawa in 1997, Hossa collected 29 goals and 37 assists in 66 games with Atlanta and Pittsburgh this past season.  In 701 career contests with the Senators, Thrashers and Penguins, the four-time All-Star has notched 299 tallies and 648 points.