I only have time for a quick post here, but it is worth doing while it is on my mind.
Today, I was shocked to hear that a recent star in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff run, Marian Hossa, signed with the Detroit Red Wings.
What’s the shocking part?
It was an ONE-YEAR deal!
Most players in their prime, as Hossa is, try to get the longest term deal possible in addition to the most money. And, according to this article, the Penguins offered Hossa a 5-year deal…then a 6-year deal…then a 7-year deal, all for similar money, all to no avail.
This is a classic case of a negotiation failing because one party’s true interests weren’t addressed. Hossa’s interests are best summed up by his quote in the aforementioned article: “I want to have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup. I feel like Detroit is the team.”
I’m not saying that the Penguins failed to address these interests verbally…I don’t know…perhaps Hossa had his mind made up about Detroit and doesn’t feel bullish on the Pens’ immediate future. But I wonder if the Penguins stressed in the negotiation their commitment to winning by having Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin – arguably 2 of the 3 best players in the league, and not yet in their primes – signed to long-term deals as a way of persuading Hossa to stay.
Detroit knew Hossa’s interests. So they got him for a lower price and terms more favorable to them.
Hossa’s agent probably pushed for a longer term deal and more money. But I bet Detroit knew they had to want Hossa wanted, held their ground, and ended up with a pretty good deal.
Who sees a parallel with purchasing?