CHICAGO – Sunday was one of the rarest days at the United Center as the Black Hawks had what could be considered the final tribute to a former player.
81st seed Marian Hossa retired in a drawn-out Blackhawks ceremony Sunday night at the United Center. The Hockey Hall of Famer became the eighth player in franchise history to receive the honor and the first since #3 after it was retired with Keith Magnuson and Pierre Pilote on November 12, 2008.
It was only the sixth time that the Blackhawks had jersey retired since the team had retired double digits at the same time twice.
Former Blackhawks player and announcer Eddie Olczyk served as ceremonies for the event along with former teammates Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharpe and Jonathan Toews. The Hossa family was also with him, as the Hockey Hall of Famers took the stage after the others were introduced.
The Stanley Cup was also brought to the United Center for the ceremony, in honor of the three Hessa wins as a member of the team.
Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirts spoke before Hossa took to the microphone to address the crowd about his time in Chicago. He spoke for 21 minutes in front of the crowd as he discussed a number of aspects of his time with the Blackhawks while also thanking the many people he worked with.
Of course, he mentioned the fans, and how special Blackhawks Stadium was to him while playing there as a member of the team from 2009-2017.
“I will always remember United’s center full of life, full of energy, with that crowd roaring over a big goal, reviving that madness,” said Hossa in his speech, referring to memorable moments such as the winner of the fifth match. in overtime against the Predators in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs and his 500th goal in 2016.
Then came the retirement of his jersey, which was then lifted and raised to the rafters along with the other streamers in the ring. Hossa was the fourth player to retire in the United position, joining Denis Savard (1998) alongside Magnuson and Bellot.
Tony Esposito (1988), Glenn Hall (1988), Bobby Hull (1983) and Stan Mikita (1980) held their celebrations at Chicago Stadium.
During his eight seasons in Chicago, he scored 186 goals and 229 assists in 534 regular season games. Through 107 playoff contests, Hossa had 21 hits with 52 assists as the Blackhawks made the postseason every year he was with them.
With forward production and drive delivery, the team has won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015 with a Hall of Famer on the roster.