By: Alex Patt
Saying goodbye to Marian Hossa was “officially-official” Thursday when his contract was traded to the Arizona Coyotes. While he is technically a member of the Coyotes, he will not play hockey anymore due to his skin condition. He has not played hockey since the 2016-2017 season and has three more years on his 12-year deal.
Despite having to move his contract and not playing his last four seasons, Hossa was worth every penny for the Blackhawks. Arguably the best free agent signing in Chicago sports history, Hossa made the most of the eight seasons he played with the Hawks. He scored 186 goals, 229 assists and was a +133. On top of that, he scored 21 playoff goals in 107 playoff games and won three Stanley Cups.
That is just a brief summary of what he did in Chicago, so what about specific highlights? Here is a top-five Marian Hossa ,a.k.a. Demi god, moment list in his time wearing the Indian head sweater.
5.) His debut with the Blackhawks
Marian Hossa signed before the 2009-2010 season, but due to injury he did not debut until November 25th. The Blackhawks dominated the Sharks to a 7-2 win. They scored three shorthanded goals in one power play. Two of the seven goals were tallied by Hossa as he made a great impression on the Chicago fans right off the bat.
4.) Game-winning goal, 6/6/13
This one may not be remembered as well as the others, but it is important. In game four of the Western Conference Finals, the Blackhawks and Kings were deadlocked at two going into the third period. Just 1:10 in, Hossa slapped a shot over Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to make it 3-2 in favor of Chicago. That would be the final score, and they would go up 3-1 in the series. A game five win in double OT sealed another trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
3.) Hossa hits it out of the air
One of his most impressive goals, Hossa made highlight reels across sports television with this goal. It was December 13, 2009 and the Blackhawks were playing Tampa Bay at the United Center. Hossa skated into the zone as the puck fluttered to him; he caught it, dropped it and swatted at the puck while it was still in the air and he slapped it into the back of the Lighting net. “What a goal!” Blackhawks TV commentator Pat Foley exclaimed as the UC got on its feet and cheered loudly.
2.) 500th goal
It was October 2016 and it was not a time the Blackhawks were getting a lot of attention from Chicago media, considering the Cubs were in the middle of their World Series run, but this was a very celebrated moment. On October 18th, in a game against the Flyers at the United Center, Marian Hossa scored his 500th career goal. He became the 44th player in NHL history to make the 500 club as he scored it on a power play in the second period. The announcement was made on the jumbotron and the crowd all stood and gave him a loud ovation as Hossa skated around raising his stick in appreciation.
Before we got to number one, here are some honorable mentions.
-Celebrating his 1000th career NHL match in a pre-game ceremony on March 6, 2013
-Raising the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2010 after beating the Flyers in game six
-Game-tying goal with two second left on February 2nd, 2013. Part of their historic streak
And now, number one…
1.) Hossa’s redemption, 4/24/10
It was game five of the first round between the Blackhawks and the pesky Nashville Predators. After blowing a lead, the Blackhawks trailed 4-3 late in the third period. Marian Hossa was called for a major penalty and Chicago was going to finish the game shorthanded. Hossa slammed his stick in the penalty box, and the Blackhawks looked like they were heading to Nashville down 3-2 in the series. Remarkably, Patrick Kane tied the game with 13 seconds left to force overtime.
When overtime began, Hossa was still in the box. At 16:09, Brent Sopel entered the Blackhawks zone with Hossa racing out of the box when the penalty expired a few seconds later. He went straight for the front of the net as the puck went back to the point. Sopel slapped the shot towards the net as it rattled around the crease, and Hossa was there to tap the puck past Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne to win it. The United Center exploded as the team mobbed #81. It arguably saved their season.