an overpaid goal-suck.
Four things come to mind:
- They're both in the news this weekend
- They were once traded for each other
- They were both responsible for tragic, careless accidents that we've all apparently agreed to never mention under any circumstances
- They're both losers.
Hossa's failure to win means one of hockey's strangest facts still holds true: the Senators have never drafted a player who has won a Stanley Cup. Anywhere. Ever. (Update: Except for Stan Neckar? See comments.)
They're at 0-for-151 and counting. Even the Leafs, a team known for screwing up all those rare draft picks that they didn't trade away for senior citizens, have managed to pick at least
Three is the loneliest number
At the end of game seven, I wondered via Twitter if Hossa was the only player from the game who wouldn't have a Cup ring. A few folks pointed out that Ty Conklin and Jonathan Ericsson would also fall into the category.
So there you have it. Out of forty players from last night's game, three went home without a championship on their resume: a rookie, a backup goalie, and a veteran superstar who chooses his team based on whoever he thinks has the best chance at winning. I'm not sure if that should make Hossa feel better or worse.
One thing you can say in Hossa's defence: at least he's a loser against his will. At least he wants to win. Which is more that we can say about Dany Heatley.
Yes, Heatley. The guy who was perfectly happy playing under coaches like Craig Hartsburg and John Paddock even though the team was awful. After all, he was getting his ice time, racking up the stats, and being coddled by coaches who certainly weren't going to ask him to do anything crazy like play defence or actually work hard.
Then along comes Cory Clouston. Now, Clouston's winning record in the second half of the season is over-hyped (the Sens didn't face an actual starting goalie after November). But he deserves credit for at least trying to demand some accountability from Ottawa's notorious band of primadonnas. Apparently, that was just too much for Heatley to handle.
And while the rift with Clouston has been the big news, apparently there's more to Heatley's unhappiness. According to GM Bryan Murray, Heatley felt that "being questioned by the media wasn't fair, so I was told".
Let's take a second to digest that: Dany Heatley can't handle the Ottawa hockey media. The glee club. The pom-pom brigade. The group that does everything but form a human pyramid in the press box.
Brennan comes clean
Even the Sens' head cheerleader, Don Brennan, admitted as much earlier this week, saying that once Heatley was gone he'd "long for the day he was back in Ottawa, where for various reasons he was an object around which a lot of tip-toeing was done."
If Heatley can't handle Ottawa, how's he going to do in a market where the media is actually allowed to get critical? As Brennan rightly points out, "Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons would make Heatley cry like a schoolgirl".
Since it's virtually impossible to find a team with a more homer-ish media than Ottawa, Heatley will apparently just need to find a city where hockey gets no coverage at all. So that narrows his choices down to just, oh, two-thirds of the western conference.
For once, Sens fans really do have something to cry about
It's almost impossible to feel bad for Senators fans, a notoriously insecure group of front-runners who fundamentally misunderstand their place in the hockey world. But in this case, you have to offer up some sympathy. Dany Heatley stabbed them all in the back, and now they're going to have to watch Murray make a three-quarters-for-a-dollar trade just to get rid of him.
(And just wait until he starts using his NTC to veto potential deals...)
So here's a little tip for Marian Hossa, a soon-to-be-UFA who'll be able to once again pick whichever team he thinks has the best chance of winning next year: Wait until Heatley is traded before you sign.
That way, you'll have at least one team you can definitely cross off your list of contenders.