Several players talked about the tremendous impact star forward Marian Hossa had on the Chicago Blackhawks since he signed with the team in 2009. Jonathan Toews is one them. The 29-year-old captain praised his teammate and explained how Hossa has been a real inspiration for him and his teammates during the series against Nashville:
“You saw what he was doing out there on the ice. It doesn’t say much, but in my opinion, he was by far the best player in the playoff series against Nashville. He’s got a ton left on the table. I could almost see him being one of those [Jaromir] Jagrs that is playing for another six or seven years, probably. It’s tough to see.”
He also added that he was extremely sad to hear about his illness, but that it was not a surprise per se:
“It’s not like this happened overnight. A lot of the guys that were aware of his situation all kind of knew that that decision would have to be made.”
Hossa is one of the greatest players of his generation and, despite being 38 years old, still managed 26 goals and 45 points in 2016-17. It’s unclear at this moment whether he’ll return to the team for 2018-19 and beyond or whether he has fully retired, but a legend like Hossa has afforded himself the opportunity to take whichever path he chooses.