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Chicago Blackhawks: Five Biggest Concerns Going Into October

By Skylar Peters
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3 of 5

3. Marian Hossa Isn’t Managed Carefully

Sep 22, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing

Marian Hossa

(81) skates with the puck during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

For the past couple of years, Marian Hossa has been the Blackhawks’ ageless wonder. Even at the age of 35 last year, Hossa continued to be a key contributor for the ‘Hawks, doing time on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews, as well as special teams. Hossa’s puck protection and offensive mind are key assets for the team, but with Hossa now closer to 40 years of age than 30, it is time for both Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman to manage #81’s work/rest schedule even more diligently than before.

Hossa was known to take a ‘maintenance day’ every so often for the Blackhawks last year, whether that meant missing practice. It worked to perfection: Hossa played in all 82 games last year, maximizing his contribution to the ‘Hawks success.

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This year, rest days need to be more frequent for Marian Hossa, and if the slightest ache comes his way, missing a game due to precautionary reasons has to be an option. Hossa isn’t a spring chicken anymore, and though he can certainly be a key factor on offense, he is no good sitting in the press box. The worst-case scenario is that the Hawks use Hossa too hard out of the gates, and it culminates in the 36-year old missing some extended time down the stretch.

Next: What's #2 Concern?

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