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Saying Goodbye to Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 15: Marian Hossa #81 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 2-0 in Game Six to win the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 15, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 15: Marian Hossa #81 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 2-0 in Game Six to win the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 15, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Thursday July 12th, the Chicago Blackhawks traded away Marian Hossa (his contract, really) to the Arizona Coyotes. Today I’ll take some time to say goodbye to a player who meant so much to the Blackhawks to the city of Chicago and to me.

After Marian Hossa announced his retirement, Chicago Blackhawks fans knew it was only a matter of time until he was moved to help clear up cap space. Hossa contacted a skin condition which made it impossible for him to wear the hockey equipment needed to play the game. There was medication, but it became unhealthy in the quantity he was taking it. Marian’s body was 39, but Marian himself? Timeless.

In his last season — playing at age 38 — Marian Hossa put up 45 points on 26 goals and 19 assists. On a career, he played in a whopping 1,309 NHL games. He scored his 500th goal in a Blackhawks uniform and finished with 525. He added an additional 609 assists, giving him 1,134 total points.

Well, well, well, have a career Marian Hossa.

Marian in 2009-10

Leading up to the 2009-10 season, Marian played in two Stanley Cup Finals. As a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Marian lost to the Detroit Red Wings in six games.  That off-season, he declined signing a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Penguins. Instead, he inked a one-year, $7.45 million contract with the Red Wings in search of winning a Stanley Cup.

As fate would have it, the Red Wings then lost to the Pens (whom Marian played for just a year prior) in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. The series went to seven games.

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Some called it karma for Hossa.

Others decided he was simply cursed.

The Chicago Blackhawks, however, felt otherwise.

They signed star winger Marian Hossa to a 12-year deal worth $62.8 million (roughly $5.233 million a year). Then-General Manager Dale Tallon had some words to say about the star player who brought along such a history.

“To add Marian, an elite and world-class player to our exciting young core reinforces our commitment to try to win the Stanley Cup.” He continued, saying “Marian has played a lot of games. The most-important thing for Marian is that he wants to win and he feels we’re headed in the right direction and that he can be as a 30-year-old one of our elderly statesmen on our team and help lead this young team.”

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Well, that game plan certainly worked out. As we all know, the Chicago Blackhawks went on to win the Stanley Cup in that 2009-10 season against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Captain, Jonathan Toews, gets the honors of hoisting the cup first.

He had no doubt in his mind who’d get it next.

Here’s Hossa hoisting the ever-so-elusive Stanley Cup after years of waiting. 49 years, to be exact, for Blackhawks fans.

He wasn’t quiet during those playoffs, either.

Marian had one of the most memorable moments of my entire Blackhawk’s fan-career on April 24th, 2010. The game was against the Nashville Predators. The series was tied at two. Rather than describe it for you, these guys do a pretty good job.

Pat Foley’s call on the play still gives me chills.

And while we’re talked about chills, here’s one more for you to reminisce over.

2010-Present

From that point on, the rest is history. Marian went on to hoist the Stanley Cup an additional two more times in 2013 and 2015. He tallied his 1,000th point during his time in Chicago, but his daughter stole the show and gave Hawks fans another unforgettable Marian Hossa moment.

I could talk all day about his stats and time in Chicago. I could talk about how his veteran presence and skill set put the young Chicago Blackhawks over the edge.

I could talk about how Marian Hossa is the best free agent signing in Chicago sports history.

I could talk about how his presence – and absence – on the Hawks bench was felt by every single person up and down the lineup.

I could talk about how he’s one of the greatest players of his generation.

I could talk about how he seamlessly transitioned from a lights-out sniper to a shut down defender.

I could talk about how he’s the best two-way forward I’ve ever seen take the ice.

But, none of that – or anything I’ve said – could truly do Hossa the justice he deserves.

Through and through, Marian was always pure class. He changed the Blackhawks, the fans, the city of Chicago and me forever.

So Marian, thank you.

For everything.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks' Hometown Guys On The Go: Scott Darling (Part 1)

And one last thing, tell Dave Bolland we say hi.

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