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Published: Wednesday, 7/1/2009

Blackhawks pry Hossa from Wings with 12-year deal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO The Chicago Blackhawks dipped deep into the NHL free-agent market by signing star forward Marian Hossa away from the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday with a 12-year contract.

Hossa, who surprisingly took a one-year deal with the defending champion Red Wings last summer, cashed in this time. The four-time All-Star and 11-year NHL veteran has played on the Stanley Cup runner-up the last two seasons. The Blackhawks are his fourth team since 2008.

Chicago also signed center Tomas Kopecky, who, like Hossa, played last season with the Red Wings. He was knocked out of the playoffs after sustained injuries to his face during a fight with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin in the second round.

To add Marian, an elite and world-class player, and Tomas, a Stanley Cup champion, to our exciting young core reinforces our commitment to try to win the Stanley Cup, general manager Dale Tallon said.

The Blackhawks were hoping to re-sign last year s leading scorer, Martin Havlat, who is also a free agent.

Hossa has played for Ottawa (1997-2004), Atlanta (2005-08), Pittsburgh (2008) and Detroit (2008-09), recording 719 points 339 goals and 380 assists in 775 regular-season games. He has appeared in 98 playoff games with 31 goals and 45 assists.

He led the Red Wings with 40 goals last season and was third on the team with 71 points. He had 15 points six goals and nine assists in the playoffs where the Red Wings were dethroned in the finals by the Penguins. He had no goals and three assists in the seven games against Pittsburgh, his former team.

Hossa was chosen by Ottawa in the first round of the 1997 draft.

Kopecky had 109 hits, six goals and 13 assists in 79 games for the Red Wings last season, his fourth with Detroit.



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