I happen to be browsing through the roster of the Chicago Blackhawks and I began to wonder about the line pairings that will occur this season. The Blackhawks have a lot of talented players but somehow it seems as though it has been hard for them to establish a constant center along with Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland.
I then began to analyze what makes a great center. Great vision, a defensive mentality and pure determination make the best centermen in all of hockey. I scrolled up and down the list and one person stood out; The Blackhawks have a veteran player in Marian Hossa. Typically Hossa resides on the left or right wing depending on game situations and coach Joel Quenneville’s matchup antics.
But how can Quenneville overlook the fact that Hossa could be a very defensive minded center? Is it because Hossa is 33 years old? Let’s not forget, some of the best centers to play the game all played well past thirty. Steve Yzerman was 41 years old when he retired and arguably one of the best centers to ever play the game. Mark Messier, also a a fantastic center, started his career off as a left wing. Once he made the transition to center, the points totals, awards, and recognition sky rocketed him to one of the elite.
I have to spectulate that Patrick Kane is blocking the Hossa center idea. Kane is a young, energetic, skillful player whom Quenneville is very found of because of his ablity to make things happen in the offensive zone. However, when comparing Hossa to Kane for the position of center, I still go with Hossa. He is more disciplined in his role, more level headed, and more of an all around player.
Quenneville it is time; make the switch and get Hossa ready for the upcoming season as a center.