The Winnipeg Jets have a lot of things going for them right now. They have one of the best, young offensive talents in the league in second-year forward Patrik Laine. They have a budding star in 24-year-old center Mark Scheifele, and one of the better point-producers lately in the league, right-wing Blake Wheeler. On the back end, Dustin Byfuglien is an established defensive presence, and 22-year-old blue liner Jacob Trouba has shown lots of promise.
But in the NHL, it’s difficult to win, and nearly impossible to get anywhere near the Stanley Cup, with subpar goaltending, an area which has long been an Achilles heel in Winnipeg. And if the Jets can’t plug their leaky crease, Winnipeg will likely once again find itself on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
Personally, I don’t want to give up hope. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of him in an NHL arena. He’s someone seemingly everyone can enjoy watching, and I learned that as well as anyone. You see, there’s no reason for Hossa to be one of my favorite players to watch in recent NHL history. In fact, growing up a Penguins fan, I have plenty of reasons to dislike him, including the way he left the Penguins for the team that defeated them in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, the Detroit Red Wings — even citing that he felt he had better of a chance to win the Cup in Detroit. Once he signed with the Red Wings, I assumed I would go on silently hoping he’d never win a Stanley Cup.
But all it took was that one play, seven games into his stretch in Detroit, to remember everything about what makes Hossa such a wholly unique player, and one worth rooting for even as he demolishes your favorite team.