Marian Hossa wound up making the wrong choice.
The team he departed from, the Pittsburgh Penguins, beat his new club, the Detroit Red Wings, in the Stanley Cup final.
"Regret? I don't regret it," he said. "It could be different circumstances if I sign in Pittsburgh, they probably couldn't sign some other players and they'd be a different team. We could sit here for hours discussing this, but it would be a different team and it could be different things.
"That's life, sometimes you make choices. I still had a great year in this organization. Great guys, great people around. It could go both ways, just one goal makes a difference. You score one more and you celebrate. Sometimes that life and you just have to move on. It's a great life experience."
Hossa enjoyed a strong playoffs until the Stanley Cup final. He played like he was distracted against the Penguins and failed to score in the seven-game series.
"It's not easy," he said. "We've got lots of things going on. I tried to block it but you're human, it's not easy.
"Whether you like it or not, there's lots of pressure. You learn when the pressure is on and you learn how to handle it. It's squeezing you. It's a pretty tough one, I tried to battle hard but I couldn't get anything done offensively."
Notes - Penguins forward Maxime Talbot's goals were scored eight minutes and 54 seconds apart in the second period.
- Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg was an amazing 15-2 in face-offs and the Red Wings won 33 of the 47 draws.
- When Talbot scored his second goal midway through the second period, the Penguins held a 16-11 advantage in shots on goal. The Red Wings outshot their opponents 13-2 in the second-half of the game.
- This was the 87th game of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs. Sidney Crosby's number.
- The Penguins franchise now has three NHL championships to move into eighth place all-time. Pittsburgh is behind Montreal (23), Toronto (13), Detroit (11), Boston (5), Edmonton (5), New York Islanders (4) and New York Rangers (4).
- Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, at 22 years old and 10 months, is the third youngest player to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. Patrick Roy was 20 in 1986 and Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward was 22 years, three months in 2006.
- Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, 22, is the youngest captain to raise the Stanley Cup, surpassing Wayne Gretzky, who was 23 when he won his first of four championships in 1984.
- Pittsburgh's Bill Guerin waited 13 years, 353 days between Stanley Cups. Only Chris Chelios at 16 years and 20 days, and Mark Recchi at 15 years and 25 days had longer waits.
- On whether the knee injury suffered in the finale would prohibit him from attending the Stanley Cup victory parade, Crosby said. "No, no. One hundred per cent."
- Crosby on winning after being considered the game's next elite player at age 13. "It means so much. It's even way beyond that. It's all the sacrifices that people make so you can get to his point, and my parents. It's the coaches you have along the way. It's all the people that influence you. These things are all things that you think about."
- Crosby on his second period injury. "Yeah, I don't know if I chipped the puck or somehow the puck kind of got ahead of me. Franzen kind of finished me. I tried to jump to avoid it, and my knee got jammed between his hip and the dasher, the ledge on the boards. It jammed the outside of my knee. I couldn't walk, really. So I took my skate off and tried to move it around. I couldn't really walk.
"I tried numbing it as much as I could, you know. They gave me as much numbing as they possibly could, and I still couldn't really skate that much. I went out for one shift to try it. I figured I could go out there and maybe spot in once in a while if guys got tired. I knew we had a short bench with me being out, so I tried to spot in a bit. But I couldn't really stop or turn. I knew playing against guys like Zetterberg and Datsyuk, I couldn't afford to make one wrong step. I just had to stick with it and watch from there."
- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma on his unlikely ride to Cup champion after taking over the Penguins a few months ago. "I knew the quality of the players we had, and the team that we had. Believed in the organization we had, and you do let your mind wander. You do think this is a team that could win a Stanley Cup. Maybe not this particular year, I didn't think that. But got a good group of players in there, and they've been through a lot, even though they're young, and they have a lot of character.
"We just got them focused in a different direction. I think the game is meant to be played aggressively and in-your-face. When you can dictate the pace of the game and where it's played, you can put teams back on their heels. That's a fun way to play, and that's, I think, the right way to play.
"I'm a little surprised how quick they bought in and how quick they got it. But I'm not surprised how good they became."
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