It should be harder than ever to keep Marian Hossa in Czech this season.
By signing a one-year contract with the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, the 29-year-old right wing from Stara Lubovna, Czech Republic, may have propelled himself back into the stratosphere when it comes to fantasy hockey.
Hossa, a 100-point scorer in 2006-07, is coming off a seven-year low output of 66 points on 29 goals and 37 assists in 12 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins after spending the first 60 with the Atlanta Thrashers -- who outscored just four teams in the Eastern Conference last season.
He joins the Wings, who scored a Western Conference-leading 252 goals last season, ranking behind only the Montreal Canadiens (257) and Ottawa Senators (258), which is where Hossa spent his first seven seasons.
From 2002-03 through 2006-07, Hossa scored 163 goals with 191 assists for 354 points in 323 games. Playing alongside guys like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg should allow Hossa to average closer to the 1.09 points per game he averaged during that span, rather than 0.92 he put up last season.
Here are some other tips:
* Could hit a hundred: Sidney Crosby, Penguins; Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals; Evgeni Malkin, Penguins; Hossa; Datsyuk; Vincent Lecavalier, Lightning; Dany Heatley, Senators; Jarome Iginla, Flames; Joe Thornton, Sharks.
* Perhaps 90 to 100: Eric Staal, Hurricanes; Marc Savard, Bruins; Zetterberg; Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks; Derek Roy, Sabres; Rick Nash, Blue Jackets; Jason Spezza, Senators.
* Stock rising: Patrick Kane, Blackhawks; Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals; Anze Kopitar, Kings; Shawn Horcoff, Oilers; Wojtek Wolski, Avalanche; Miroslav Satan, Penguins; Steve Bernier, Canucks.
* Stock falling: Mike Modano, Stars; R.J. Umberger, Blue Jackets; Keith Tkachuk, Blues; Vyacheslav Kozlov, Thrashers.
* Rookie stars: Claude Giroux, Flyers; Steven Stamkos, Lightning; Kyle Okposo, Islanders; Jakub Voracek, Blue Jackets; Derick Brassard, Blue Jackets.
* Fast facts: Buffalo's Jason Pominville ranked fourth in scoring after the All-Star break with 16 goals and 42 points. . . . Toronto's Jason Blake has put the fifth most shots on goal (332) over the last two seasons but ranks just 40th with 55 goals. . . . Mike Comrie led the New York Islanders in scoring with just 49 points last season and did it with a minus-21 plus/minus.
* Possible 60-point scorers: Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings; Dion Phaneuf, Flames; Brian Campbell, Blackhawks; Mike Green, Capitals; Andrei Markov, Canadiens.
* Stock rising: Dan Boyle, Sharks; Lubomir Visnovsky, Oilers; Mark Streit, Islanders; Craig Rivet, Sabres.
* Stock falling: Rob Blake, Sharks; Bryan McCabe, Panthers; Tom Poti, Capitals; Mattias Ohlund, Canucks.
* Rookie stars: Drew Doughty, Kings; Alex Pietrangelo, Blues; Zach Bogosian, Thrashers.
* Fast facts: Dallas' Sergei Zubov had 33 points in his first 37 games last season before hernia surgery and a foot injury. . . . Montreal's Mike Komisarek was tops in blocked shots (227) and second in hits delivered (266). . . . Phoenix's Ed Jovanovski improved to 51 points from 29 in 2006-07 and played in 80 games for the first time since 2001-02.
Stock rising: Cristobal Huet, Blackhawks; Pascal Leclaire, Blue Jackets; Carey Price, Canadiens.
Stock falling: Tomas Vokoun, Panthers; Martin Gerber, Senators; Peter Budaj, Avalanche.
Fast facts: Carolina's Cam Ward started 20 consecutive games to end the season and 33 of the final 34. . . . Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere went 14-2-2 over the final two months with a 1.48 goals against average and 94.8 save percentage. . . . Buffalo's Ryan Miller was 28-20, 2.44 GAA, 91.4 SP before the trading deadline, then went 6-5, 3.21, 88.3 in March.