On Sunday afternoon in Detroit, Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa played in his 1000th career NHL game. That time has been spent with many teams, but one would have to think that his most treasured memories in the league have occurred during his time in the Windy City.
Through the trials he encountered in coming up short in two straight Stanley Cup Finals, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, respectively, as well as the head injury he sustained at the hands of Raffi Torres in the 2012 playoffs, Hossa has persevered, and cemented a unique place in Hawks lore. At 34 years old, his best years production-wise are probably behind him, but he still has some serious game left, and the Hawks will need all of that in order to reach the playoffs.
Before we look forward on what is in store for the rest of the season for #81 (and before he’s honored in a pregame ceremony at the United Center tonight), it seems appropriate to take a look back at Hossa’s top five moments while wearing the Indian head sweater.
Five: Hossa knots it up vs. Calgary
There may not be a game this season that can truly be called “season-defining” for the Hawks, but the game against the Calgary Flames was probably the most fallible that this team has looked. Nonetheless, it was Hossa who managed to shock the world and send the game into overtime with only seconds remaining.
Four: Welcome to the team, kid
After missing nearly two months thanks to shoulder surgery, Hossa finally got a chance to start earning his massive 12-year contract that he signed with the Hawks in the summer of 2009, and he wasted no time in doing so.
Three: Hossa displays a taste for the theatrical
Hossa was poised to go down in Hawks lore as one of the bigger goats in postseason history after boarding Nashville’s Dan Hamhuis in the closing seconds of Game 5 of the first round of the 2010 playoffs. Patrick Kane’s late tally with only seconds remaining sent the game into OT, but Hossa still had around four minutes to spend in the box to ponder what he’d done.
Once he came out, however, he went from goat to hero faster than perhaps any Hawks player ever.
Second: Hossa drops it like it’s hot
The filthiest goal that Hossa has scored with the Blackhawks is, without question, this beauty against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The hand-eye coordination and shot accuracy displayed are simply staggering.
First: Hossa finally gets to lift the Cup
Yeah, it got a little dusty in the living rooms and favorite watering holes of Hawks fans when captain Jonathan Toews handed the Stanley Cup to Hossa on June 9th, 2010.