Penguins win Marian Hossa sweepstakes

Marian Hossa, considered the top catch before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline, is the newest member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Marian Hossa, considered the top catch before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline, is the newest member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh also receives forward Pascal Dupuis from the Atlanta Thrashers for forwards Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and a first-round draft pick.

Hossa, who didn't have a no-trade clause, is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He is earning $7 million US this season.

The right-winger was second in Atlanta Thrashers scoring this season with 26 goals and 56 points in 60 games.

"Any team that gets this guy … he's a real good person, a great team guy," Detroit Red Wings forward Dan Cleary told reporter Doug Harrison on Monday.

Cleary and Hossa played with Mora of the Swedish Elite League during the NHL lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season.

Hossa, 29, joins a Penguins team that includes league scoring leader
Evgeni Malkin and superstar Sidney Crosby, who has been sidelined
the past several weeks with a high ankle sprain.

A Crosby-Hossa 1-2 punch would be a challenge to any defence pair in the league.

"We'll see what the coach [Michel Therrien] is going to say, what the [forward] lines are going to be, but definitely I'm looking forward to it," Hossa told cable sports network TSN.

Canadiens, Senators in Hossa race

Montreal and Ottawa were considered the front-runners for Hossa, with Boston, San Jose, Detroit and Dallas also believed to have expressed interest.

In 689 career NHL regular-season games with Ottawa and Atlanta, he has 638 points.

If there is a knock on the speedy Slovak it would be his inability to help lead the Senators far in the playoffs from 1998 to 2004.

"I'll try to do the best I can this year to prove I can do it in the playoffs," he said.

With 77 points, Pittsburgh trails the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils by two points.

Dupuis, 28, had 10 goals, including three short-handed markers, in 62 games with the Thrashers.

The 25-year-old Armstrong, the Penguins' first-round pick in 2001, was seventh in Penguins scoring with 24 points in 54 games.

Christensen, 24, had nine goals and 20 points in 49 contests.

Esposito, the Penguins' first-round pick last summer (20th overall), has scored 26 goals and 55 points in 48 games for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Also Tuesday, Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero dealt a second- and a fifth-round pick in 2008 and 2009 to Toronto for six-foot-seven, 250-pound defenceman Hal Gill.

The 10-year NHL veteran will bring a physical presence to the Penguins' blue-line. With an even plus-minus rating in 63 games, Gill was one of the Maple Leafs' more reliable defenceman.