Hockey

Penguins break off talks as Hossa heads for free agency

There will be a marquee name available once the National Hockey League's free agency period begins on July 1 — Marian Hossa.

Talented forward had 12 goals in 20 playoff games for Stanley Cup finalists

There will be a marquee name available once the National Hockey League's free agency period begins on July 1 — Marian Hossa.

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said Saturday he has broken off talks with Hossa's agent, leaving the Slovakian forward to test the open market.

The Penguins picked up Hossa, who had 12 goals in 20 playoff games, at the trade deadline from the Atlanta Thrashers and he helped them to the Stanley Cup finals, losing to Detroit.

They sent back a package that included forwards Colby Armstrong and Eric Christensen off the main team, plus the rights to draftee Angelo Esposito and a first-round draft pick, who turned out to be Daultan Leveille.

"They tell me we're his first choice, but I believe he's going to go to July 1st just to see what's available," Shero told reporters on the draft floor in Ottawa.

"I think from Marian's standpoint, he knows the risks involved and so do we. We'll just see where that brings us."

Pittsburgh could still resign Hossa after July 1.

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