Hossa, a Penguin, slips through Habs grasp

Nine-year NHL veteran Marian Hossa trades his Thrashers jersey today for one of the Penguins.
Dave Sandford, Getty Images

Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey had hoped to pull the trigger on a deal he expected – and all Habs fans had prayed – would help carry the team into a deep playoff run.

Presumably, trading goalie Cristobal Huet wasn’t that deal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins today acquired the highly sought Atlanta Thrashers forward Marian Hossa and winger Pascal Dupuis, dealing Angelo Esposito, Colby Armstrong and Erik Christiansen, plus a first-round draft pick, in return.

Montreal was thought to be ready to offer Michael Ryder, Maxim Lapierre and Mikhail Grabovski to the Thrashers for Hossa, who now brings this season’s 26 goals and 30 assists and 296 NHL career goals to a greatly improved Penguins roster. (Malkin and Crosby and Hossa, oh my.)

It’s been no secret that the Canadiens had coveted Hossa as today’s trade deadline approached, and Gainey knew he’d have to give up a good deal to get him. That the Thrashers are in Montreal for a Bell Centre game tonight has only added to the melodrama of a deal.

The deal was announced almost at the stroke of the 3 p.m. deadline, three hours following the Canadiens’ surprise trade of goaltender Huet to Washington for a 2009 second-round draft pick. Here’s a short clip of Hossa speaking to TSN’s James Duthie a half-hour after the trade was announced.

More to come at Inside/Out. See Hossa’s career statistics below.

Marian Hossa’s biography and statistics at NHLPA.com:


  1. mjames says:

    I disagree 100%. There was no point in giving away the team for a three month player.

    Check your emotion at the door.


  2. Habs_008 says:

    agree with Huet….

  3. moeman says:

    “I’m pretty concerned about the effect that Huet’s move to Washington will have in the dressing room.”

    People said the same about Souray and Rivet leaving. Didn’t hurt much.

    ~ have a powerful day ~

  4. Habs_008 says:

    Too much to give up for Hossa who is UFA, Gainey knows best. He is a smart man, The best GM we have had since the glory years in the 70’s i think. We are a young and up and coming team. WE have to be Patient. No cup this year is not the end of the world, we are building, everyone should just chill out.

  5. Leclerc1965 says:

    If Price fails in the next week or so play Halak, no pressure there right? This guy has been buried in Hamilton and traded 200 times in the past month or so. Live with the kids, die with the kids.

  6. madhabsfan says:

    I’ve lost count of the number of years we have needed that big scorer up front, but today was probably Gainey’s greatest effort. Boone’s theory sounds about right… Looks to me like Gainey just got screwed!

    I hope, for our sake and Gainey’s, that the habs respond positively to this situation. With any luck, the habs will feel the weight taken off their shoulders, mobilize, and kick some behind for the rest of the season.

    If not, the 2008 habs season can be summed up in three words: “Red, White, and Screwed!”

  7. the_vipah says:

    If we even make the playoffs (which I doubt now), we are done in one round. Period.

    The only chance this team has is 3 1/2 months of Patrick Roy style goaltending.

  8. TripleX says:

    I agree, and also Federov? We trade our No.1 goalie away for a bag of pucks. Great! We also play Breezer and Smokes tonight….what a fu**ing disaster. TRADE THOSE TWO DEAD WEIGHTS…PLEASE! That at least would make some sense. WTF!

    Do we play Washington again this year? I guarantee Huet shuts us out.

    What does this do to the atmosphere in the locker room? If I was a Habs player I would be very angry and or discouraged.

  9. Dan23 says:

    Everyone knew the Habs needed an impact player – Gainey made the mistake of saying as much and he is surely regretting that today.

    Pittsburgh should be able to fit everyone in under their cap – don’t forget that the cap will most likely increase next season and likely the season after that. Malkin is still on a rookie contract next year. The Pens definitely gave up a lot, but it’s hard to argue they haven’t improved their team. Their goaltending remains a question mark in my mind, however. I’m no big Michel Therrien fan either.

    As for the Habs, I’m pretty concerned about the effect that Huet’s move to Washington will have in the dressing room. I’m glad to see Halak will have a chance to play a few games in the NHL, but making the playoffs should remain a concern for all of us when you consider that Toronto, despite their season, is just 6 points out of a playoff spot in the East.

    Ultimately, I think we’ll still qualify for the playoffs. No doubt we will try again in the free agent market, and perhaps our bright future will convince some players to sign with the Habs.

    I’d re-sign Streit and consider re-signing Ryder if he’s willing to take a pay cut.

  10. habs-13 says:

    Imagine we some how get Grabovski into tonights lineup and he scores the game-winner in OT!

    I know… I watch too much T.V!

  11. moeman says:

    Great point. Youth up front, youth on the D, youth in nets and some vets to balance out a good chemistry.

    ~ have a powerful day ~

  12. the_vipah says:

    Screw Hossa. That was a wasted effort. The guy is a waste of money and talent tradewise.

    Why the HELL did we not get a physical forward? How about some help on the blueline. Tuomo Ruutu could have been had for Lats perhaps, Carolina did trade Andrew Ladd which is a similar type of guy. Ruutu is fiesty, plays hard and was a very high pick, perhaps he would have a been a late bloomer.

    To trade Huet for nothing. That just blows me away. Lose him in July for nothing, I don’t care, but why toss away our insurance in net without a guarantee that the Atlanta thing was going to happen?

    Another very dissapointing day.

  13. moeman says:

    I think Waddle got a sweet last minute deal from the Pens. Their GM is saying as much right now. Rumour has it that ATL wanted O’byrne thrown into the deal. If so, I’m glad Babs didn’t bite. Pens were more desperate than Montreal. No sleep lost on this.

    ~ have a powerful day ~

  14. MNaslund26 says:

    i am really depressed about all this. not only did we not get hossa or ANYONE, we seemingly just GAVE our number 1 goalie away. after all that talk, all gainey did was some charity work for washington at our expense. thats really crappy.

    with our new lineup i doubt we even make the playoffs at all.

    way to go…


  15. Leclerc1965 says:

    By the way, how do you kids feel about our playoff chances now? Everyone has improved but us. Kinda sad because like many of you, with the success we have experienced this year we were talking a Stanley Cup.

  16. Chuck V. says:

    While at first glance this seems to be a case of the team lacking a Plan B, I truly do believe that this was BG’s secondary route. He said outright that he wouldn’t be bothered leaving the team as it was if he didn’t get the impact player he wanted and essentially he’s made a decision that will impact the club through this year, the playoffs, and the future.

    Now that we no longer have a logjam at the goaltender position, I think the team will commit completely to the youth movement, and the first step to that was making Price the #1 goalie for the team. I think that both he and Cristobal suffered from not having the coach’s full confidence, but now there is no doubt that it’s Carey’s team. Grabovski was going to be traded today, but maybe now he’ll stay with the big club. I’d like to see some younger players begin to gain more experience because this team will be a contender for years to come.

    This is time for the kids to shine and carry us through to the playoffs. While the team is relatively green this year, with the young players fulfilling important roles they’ll gain some much-needed experience.

  17. TripleX says:

    I have one question for BG….are we stronger after today or are we weaker. The answer is obvious, boneheaded move. So we lose Huet after the season is over, big deal….we should have him for the playoff run. We also throw Price into the fire….not fair to him and this could potentially ruin him. REALLY SMART BOB!

  18. doublerr says:

    BG is about to speak, unless he says ” I resign” everything else means nothing. This was the worst trade deadline I have ever seen. This team is too small, not tough enough for the playoffs and now they have zero playoff experience in the nets. If a d-man gets hurt, is Breezer going to play the rest of the year? Pittsburgh pushed us around without Crosby, what’s going to happen when they have him and Hossa? This is the most dissappointing day of the hockey season!

  19. Blitzen says:

    I’m telling you right now that if Gainey decides to not sign our young RFAs-to-be ahead of time and then has to either lose them to high bidders for picks or overpay for them, then I will REALLY begin to question what he is doing.

    If we’re going to go with building the team solely through the draft – and that is certainly a fine way to go – he HAS to sign players before guys like Lowe start bidding for their services as RFAs.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  20. Leclerc1965 says:

    Dodged a bullet is right. I think that Atlanta would have pulled the trigger with a Ryder, Halak, prospect and 1st, but after Pittsburgh got involved with their offer Atlanta wanted more from the Habs. Pittsburgh can keep Hossa, I guess they decided to live for the day, BG doesn’t see this team’s future that way.

  21. Rugger says:

    I wouldn’t have traded just the 1st round pick for a rent-a-wing.

  22. mjames says:

    Well we dodged a bullet. There is no way we should surrender two roster players, a prospect and 1st rounder for a rental. We, including Gainey, should be thankful there was bigger sucker out there. Pens significantly overpaid for this rental. They can not afford to sign this guy long term. Armstrong and Christenson were good players. They will be missed. Pens are TBv2.

    Concerning Huet, I think Gainey was expecting to get a goalie back in the Hossa trade which i assume would have been Hedberg. Again we should be thankful as Hedberg does not come close to Halak. My only wish tonight is that we work Grabowski into the lineup.


  23. Rugger says:

    Did any goalie go for more? There is no market for goalies, and there won’t be in July. Any big D man is worth more in trade right now.

  24. Blitzen says:

    Dave Morissette on RDS was just saying that Gainey can’t blame the reporters for slamming him after he himself said he would do everything he could to bring a top-flight talent. Gainey should have just said what he always says: I’ll try to see if I can improve the team.

    I’m thinking Gainey is REALLY hoping that Price comes up big and that the Habs make the playoffs…

    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  25. Leclerc1965 says:

    It boiled down to this… Pittsburgh upped the ante and Montreal wasn’t going to call them on it. The Pens gave up an awful lot for a “rental” because let’s face it, with Malkin and Crosby can they really afford to sign Hossa in the off-season? I guess BG’s plan was to plate an offer that Pittsburgh trumped. I am both angry because we didn’t improve this team for a season that has gone better than expected, and not angry because BG is keeping the youngsters he believes will win Montreal a cup….(eventually). We as fans have raised our expectations far beyond our own comprehensions with the success our team has experienced this year and wanted more, but management wasn’t willing to sell the farm…kudos to them for staying the course and damm them for not listening to us!

  26. Chuck V. says:

    second rounder in 2009, not this year

  27. Higgins21 says:

    As I’ve said before, Huet has been over-rated. Remember the last regular season game against the Laffs last year. He blew our chance for post-season play. Good move to get a second-rounder (deep draft this year) as he wasn’t worth that much.

    Go Habs Go!

  28. Itsik says:

    What is up here????? can you believe, if we would to get Esposito in the summer, Hossa would be a Hab tonight……well, it seems to me that Pitz GM has a monkey on his back against the Habs, its like, he is watching what Bob will do, and he he does it instead, screwing it up for the habs….I say, lets meet Pitz in the POFFS, and kick their buts…..

  29. Chuck V. says:

    I am really f-ing pissed. We did nothing to improve the team today and while I like that we’re telling Carey that this is his team now, I can’t believe we only got a 2nd for Cristobal Huet. Are you really telling me that he’s worth less than Hal Gill?

  30. Blitzen says:

    Not sure Pittsburgh gave up THAT much for him: two 3rd liners, a likely prospect bust and a 1st rounder. Would you think that Laps, Chips, Grabs and a 1st rounder would be THAT ridiculous?

    I still think that Waddell will end up fired.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

  31. Blitzen says:

    I’m guessing that Boone has it right. Gainey thought he was getting Hossa plus the goalie and ended up getting nothing and losing Huet. I’m thinking Waddell may have called Gainey back at the last minute and said: throw in Higgins or he’s going to Pittsburgh.
    Remember February 19th: The Comeback

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