Will The Marian Hossa Curse Affect The Chicago Blackhawks?
There has been a lot of talk over the past few NHL seasons about the Hossa curse. What is it exactly? Marian Hossa is a Slovakian born hockey player who was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline in 2008 from the Atlanta Thrashers to bolster the Penguins chances of winning the Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh would go on to the Stanley Cup final only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings.
In the off-season, Detroit would pick up Marian Hossa as a free agent. In a mirror image of the previous season, the Red Wings would go to the final against the Penguins, only to lose. Thus, the Hossa curse truly caught notoriety.
For the 2009-10 NHL season, Hossa was signed on by the Chicago Blackhawks. With a young talented team that was already expected to be a top contender for the Stanley Cup in 2010, Hawks fans denounced the signing. The Hossa curse was sure to take away all chances of winning the big prize in Chicago for the first time since 1961.
But, the curse seems to go back further than the 2007-08 season. A first round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, Hossa found success in his first and only season in Canadian junior hockey, winning a Memorial Cup with the Portland Winter Hawks.
In his first season with the Senators, the team finished first in their division and second in the conference yet bowed out in the first round of the playoffs, 4 games to none to the Buffalo Sabres. For the rest of his career with the Senators, the team would finish high in the regular season standings yet leave the playoffs early. The Senators would only make it past the first round twice during the Hossa era.
In 2005-06, Hossa left Ottawa for the Atlanta Thrashers. In his first season with the team, they would finish out of playoff contention. In his second, they would finish at the top of the Southeast Division but the Hossa curse would ensure the team would lose in four straight games in the first round.
Why the curse? Is it just coincidence that bad playoff luck seems to follow around Marian Hossa like the plague? One theory is that he is being penalized by the hockey gods for helping a USA based team win the coveted Canadian Memorial Cup. Another is that the same hockey gods are paying him back for taking the sight from the right eye of Bryan Berard in 2000. Yet another says he is simply a greedy hockey player that bounces each season to the highest bidder and has no interest in winning and therefore brings down the teams he is playing for.
Whatever the case, everyone in the hockey world will be watching to see if the Hossa curse affects a Chicago Blackhawks team making an appearance in the 2010 Stanley Cup final.