Marian Hossa Now the Hoss of the Hall
Marian Hossa, most recently played for the Chicago Blackhawks, had an illustrious NHL career that spanned from 1997-2017. Hossa spent his first seven years with the Ottawa Senators, who drafted him, a three-year detour with the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers (currently Winnipeg Jets), one-year pit stops with Pittsburgh and Detroit, before the final eight seasons of his career with Chicago.
In 20 years, Hossa racked up 525 goals and 609 assists for a total of 1134 points. The points only tell a partial story, however as Hossa was widely known as a great two-way player everywhere he went. Hossa overcame great turmoil in his career including injuries, unsuccessful teams, and Stanley Cup dreams that fell just short.
In the ’07-’08 NHL season, Hossa’s Penguins ventured to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings in six games. The very next season, Hossa, now with the aforementioned Red Wings, returned to the Finals, again, in a battle with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yet again Hossa fell short of kissing Lord Stanley when the Red Wings lost to the Penguins in seven games.
In the 2009 offseason, the Chicago Blackhawks, a team in need of veteran presence, signed Hossa to a lucrative free agent contract. As history would have it, Hossa and the Blackhawks reached the Stanley Cup Finals (Hossa’s third year in a row). This time, to Hossa’s chagrin, the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games to earn Marian Hossa his first Stanley Cup victory. He played a key role in that Cup run as well.
Most notably (and fondly remembered by Chicagoans), with the Western Conference Quarter-Finals tied up at two games apiece, the Blackhawks found themselves trailing the Nashville Predators 2-1 in the final minutes of Game 5 in Chicago. Losing to the Predators would mean going away to Nashville with behind in the series 3-2, which would put the Hawks in great danger of ending their magical season. With just minutes left, Hossa was called for boarding which gave the Preds a 5-minute man advantage to close out the game. Miraculously, with goalie, Antti Niemi pulled, Patrick Kane put a puck between the pipes with under a minute remaining in regulation to tie the game at 2-2.
Overtime came, but Hossa remained in the penalty box for another three minutes before his time was expired. It was a very back-and-forth overtime and finally, Hossa sprinted out of the box and headed straight for the Nashville net. Just as he made his way to the front of the net, the puck rebounded off the goalie, found Hossa’s stick, and then the back of the net. Hossa, almost Chicago’s villain, became Chicago’s hero. The Hawks won that game 3-2 and would win the series next game. That goal has been noted by many as the turning point for the Blackhawks in the 2010 postseason.
With the Blackhawks, Marian Hossa would go on to win Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015 to give him quite a full trophy case in addition to five All-Star Game appearances. But, for Marian Hossa, it is just as much the story of overcoming odds, as it is the impressive statistics.
Hail to you Marian Hossa! Enjoy your stay in Toronto!