The images of Marian Hossa laying on the ice motionless still resonate well in the minds of fans of the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s something that likely won’t fade until we see no. 81 hit the ice at full strength this NHL season.
Hossa was knocked out of Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes, suffering a severe concussion off of a vicious hit from Raffi Torres. Torres was initially suspended for 25 games following the hit, though that has since been reduced.
At the annual fan convention over the weekend, Hossa declared that he’d be likely be ready for training camp when it rolls around in September. He hasn’t taken any contact on the ice yet, but his off ice workouts have been going well and he’s optimistic at the progress he made.
That’s really something when you consider the hellish world that Hossa was living in following the hit. From the Chicago Tribune:
For three days the Blackhawks veteran did nothing but lay in bed in a sleepy daze, day turning to night and back into day. At one point, he mistakenly told doctors his wife, Jana, was there with him in his Chicago home instead of where she really was: in Slovakia, eagerly waiting for an opportunity to speak to her husband on the phone.
That’s frightening just to read. Hossa also went on to say he fielded texts from teammates and fellow players around the league, including Sidney Crosby, who knows a thing or two about career-threatening concussions. He also received a call and an apology from Raffi Torres.
When you consider how truly messed up Marian Hossa was after that hit, you really have to question whether or not he could be ready for the season. That was just a couple of months ago. It’s nice that his recovery is going well and he could be ready to step on the ice very soon. But I’m weary of whether or not he’ll actually be ready for the season to begin, assuming it starts on time.
This is a situation where the Blackhawks need to take things as slow as possible with Hossa. We’ve seen players either play with concussions or attempt to come back quickly the past couple of years, and they can’t afford to do that with Hossa. Let him take his time and make absolutely sure he’s ready, even if it takes a couple of weeks or months into the season before we see him.