Ahead of their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night, the Chicago Blackhawks honored Marian Hossa. His number 81 was sent up into the rafters of the United Center forever and no player will ever wear it again.
In order to receive that honor in any sport, you need to be a legend for that team. Of course, that is exactly what Maian Hossa was for the Chicago Blackhawks. He was a winger that scored as much as anyone while playing some amazing two-way hockey.
He was literally like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane mixed into one player. There are few wingers to ever play the game the way that he did. It was truly sensational to watch for a long time. It is pretty obvious that he is the greatest free agent signing in the history of Chicago sports.
Hossa, after losing in the Stanley Cup final two straight times in 2008 and 2009, finally won the whole thing with Chicago in 2010. After chasing the Cup around for a while, he got a second and a third in 2013 and 2015. It was an amazing run for him.
Marian Hossa is one of the greatest players in Chicago Blackhawks history.
This was a well-deserved honor for him that he earned through all of these amazing accomplishments. He got to enjoy it all with his whole family and some former teammates in attendance.
After his family came out, the six other players that won the Stanley Cup with him all three times (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Sharp, and Brent Seabrook) came out to be there for this big moment.
Even the Stanley Cup came out to celebrate this amazing honor. All seven of the players took a picture with the greatest trophy in all of sports.
The entire event was led by Ed Olczyk who is the best at this stuff. He isn’t with the Blackhawks anymore as he is the Seattle Kraken color commentator now but he mad the trip home to Chicago for this amazing night.
Danny Wirtz had some nice things to say up there for one of the greatest players in team history as well. It was good from hear from him as the team is finally honoring one of the true legends of the modern era.
When Hossa got up there to speak, he was incredibly humble which is exactly what you’d expect from him. Most of it was spent thanking all of those who helped him reach this point in his life.
Following all of that, the banner with his number 81 was sent up forever. It was truly a great ceremony that would make any fan of the sport excited.
As Hossa pointed out, it won’t be long before there are some other ceremonies just like it for other guys that were his teammates. That stretch of Chicago Blackhawks hockey during Hossa’s career is the best in team history. Everyone should be so proud.