Marian Hossa had to take time out of his career during 2016-17 due to a skin disorder which side-lined him. Always still hoping to return, he now made the tough decision to call it quits. Hossa will be joining his team, the Chicago Blackhawks in the stands now. Even though he is convinced that he still has much to offer, he is at peace with the fact that this was the correct decision for him to make.
The 40-year-old forward visited his former teammates this week in Prague. Since he left due to his skin disorder in 2016-2017 season, there have been some changes to the team, yet the rest of the support and admin personnel is still mostly the same. Being back in that environment was an excellent experience for Hossa. Some of the current team members who played with Hossa and again are playing for the Blackhawks are Jonathan Toews, playing centre and the two forwards Andrew Shaw and Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith is still playing in the position of defensemen, and Corey Crawford is still the goaltender. These guys were all part of the team with Hossa between 2009 and 2017.
The Czechoslovakian hockey player was first drafted in 1997 during the NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators where he played during his first seven years in NHL. From there he moved to the Atlanta Thrashers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings before moving on to the Chicago Blackhawks. Hossa was present in five NHL All-Star Games and playing in three consecutive Stanley Cups every time for a different team. Until he won the championships playing for the Blackhawks in 2009-10.
Later on, the Blackhawks did it twice again in 2012-13 and 2014-15. During his career, he accumulated 1 134 points from 525 goals and 609 assists. He did this by playing 1 309 games in the NHL throughout 19 seasons. In June 2017 the Chicago Blackhawks announced that Hossa would miss out on the next season due to a skin condition which he is suffering from and since then he hasn’t been able to play. His contract is still running until 2021, and then Hossa will formally retire. This is a difficult decision that he had to make since he feels that he is still capable of playing a strong game in NHL, but unfortunately, it is a risk which he can’t take.
Stan Bowman, the general manager of the Blackhawks, stated that Hossa’s absence is leaving a significant gap within the team. He brought much more than merely an excellent game to the table. He even said that he thinks that Hossa might have been in a position where he didn’t get enough recognition for the contribution he made. Vice versa, not being part of the team, is also leaving a vacuum in Hossa’s life.