Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa is calling it a career in North America. The 39-year-old is moving back to Slovakia. He announced the decision in a tabloid newspaper in his home country. He won’t sign his retirement papers until the end of the 2020-21 season to avoid cap recapture.
Marian Hossa's hockey career is over and he will be moving back home to Slovakia.
Hossa will not officially sign his NHL retirement papers until his current contract expires in 2020/21 and he expects the Chicago Blackhawks to either trade his contract or place him on LTIR. pic.twitter.com/2RmTh3ROlh
— Complete Hockey News (@CompleteHkyNews) May 19, 2018
Marian Hossa Steps Away
Hossa missed the 2017-18 season after suffering a progressive skin disorder and underwent treatment. He placed on long-term injured reserve on October 4. It’s likely Hossa will stay on LTIR or have his contract traded to a team seeking to reach the salary floor.
Hossa was originally drafted 12th overall in the first round by the Ottawa Senators in the 1997 NHL draft. He also played for the Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Hossa finished his NHL career with 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 games.
He was a key cog for the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks as he netted seven goals and nine assists in 2013 and four goals and 13 assists in 2015. Hossa also recorded 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 2008 with the Penguins.
The five-time All-Star finishes a decorated career with a Memorial Cup in 1998 with the Portland Winterhawks and a three-time Stanley Cup champion. He also helped Slovakia take fourth in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
What it Means for the Future
The Blackhawks will get some cap relief to speed up their rebuild as his cap hit was $5.275 million. General manager Stan Bowman knows that there needs to be some changes made to keep up with the teams in the loaded Central Division.
Chicago has been hamstrung be being up against the salary cap, but moving Hossa’s contract will allow some freedom. This will allow some of the younger forwards to step into a more prominent role. However, there’s no denying that Hossa was a key piece of the team’s revival in the early part of the decade.