On Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild by a 5-3 score to increase their record points streak to 23 games to start the season. But there was a story that was almost as big as the record, and it revolved around Marian Hossa.
Against the Wild on Tuesday, Hossa skated in his 1,000th career game. He finished with a goal in a game that was preceded with a ceremony and his teammates sporting his no. 81 in pregame warmups.
With 1,000 games in, and likely quite a few more to come in the next few years, it’s certainly worth looking at the question of whether or not Marian Hossa will be Hall of Fame-bound by the time he decides to hang up the skates and call it a career. So is Hossa “Hall of Fame”, or just “Hall of Very Good”?
Since the beginning of the new millennium, Hossa has been among the best players in the game. He’s posted at least 70 points in a season seven times, including two seasons of 80+, one over 90, and one in which he reached the century mark, with 43 goals and 57 assists back in 2006-2007.
The Slovakian forward was taken in the first round of the 1997 draft by the Ottawa Senators. In that time, he’s totaled 921 points, including 426 goals and 491 assists. He has 67 game-winning goals in his career and is a plus-169 total for his career. As far as accolades go, Hossa is a five-time All Star.
There’s no doubt that Hossa’s numbers are terrific. He’s been among the game’s best in his time in the league. But he’s not a lock right now. He’s only 34, so there is still some mileage left there. He’s a ‘fringy’ guy right now, but isn’t far off from being enshrined when his career is over. A couple more healthy seasons and he’s a lock.
As far as his career with the Blackhawks go, Hossa will be considered one of the best the franchise has ever seen. He’s been an elite forward in his time with the Hawks, at both ends of the ice. He scored an overtime goal against the Nashville Predators that provided the turning point in the series and would serve as the catapult for the Hawks as they went on to capture their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
Watching Hossa hoist the Cup was a fantastic moment as well, after two years of failure in the Stanley Cup Finals. He got his win, the first of his career, with the Hawks back in 2010. He’s one of the most beloved Hawks of all time, even in a short time. He’s a class act off the ice and a fantastic player on it.
Provided he plays a couple more seasons at a high, and healthy, level for the Blackhawks, Marian Hossa will have his day of celebration that should come along with an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.