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I don't believe the Blackhawks are in love with the fact that they lifted not one, but two Slovaks from the Detroit Red Wings? Remember, when Marian Hossa signed last year in Detroit, he noted that Tomas Kopecky was one of his best friends in hockey. So when the Blackhawks signed Hossa, they grabbed Kopecky as well. Hossa's deal is spread over 12 years; Kopecky just two.

From GM Dale Tallon: The signings "reinforce our commitment to try and win the Stanley Cup."

For Detroit, it means that they'll shift to Plan B and probably re-sign Mikael Samuelsson, who was not coming back if Hossa came to terms on a new deal. It also means they're in a position to give Jiri Hudler the raise he'll get as a restricted free agent. With Hossa under contract, the Red Wings were vulnerable to an offer sheet on Hudler.

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About the Author

Eric was the winner of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's Elmer Ferguson award for "distinguished contributions to hockey writing" in 2001. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario's grad school of journalism, he began covering hockey in 1978 and after spending 20 years covering the NHL and the Calgary Flames, joined The Globe in 2000. More

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