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04-25-2005, 04:55 PM
Blind Gardien
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nexus of the crisis
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Personally, I tend to feel like Hossa is a bust, but that's probably only because of high expectations I placed on him as a 1st round draft pick.

Realistically, however, his NHL career has seen him score 10 goals and 9 assists in 59 NHL games. And he does have the body, skating, and a bit of corner smarts to go with it. Put all that together, and it's hard to argue that he's dramatically worse, say, than last season's Niklas Sundstrom (66gp, 8g, 12a), or any other of a host of wishy-washy 3rd/4th liners in the NHL.

Given an opportunity as a bit player with no expectations a la Sundstrom, I suppose Hossa could be a mostly-everyday NHL player. I'd still probably trade him for a 3rd round pick, however. (But I love draft picks). I don't personally dream that Hossa will ever be more than this, but it would only be luck and lack of opportunity that would see him become less than this, since he's already hit that level in his NHL totals.

That much said, it's hard to compare that kind of player against some other team's longshot prospects. I tend to think "hey, go with the unknown... at least a 3rd round pick or a Wellwood/White/Earl has some chance of making more impact." But of course, the greater weight of probability says that most of those longer shot prospects won't ever even make the NHL at all. It all depends on how you want to roll the dice. Me, I'd roll it on some longshot prospects that I hope would have more upside. Others will take the safer bet.

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