Blackhawks: Bobby Hull, Denis Savard heap high praise on Marian Hossa


Blackhawks: Bobby Hull, Denis Savard heap high praise on Marian Hossa

It's no secret what kind of impact Marian Hossa has had on the Blackhawks, who knew exactly what they were getting when they signed him to a 12-year contract in 2009.

You won't see many individual accolades on his resume, but you will see that he's appeared in five of the last eight Stanley Cup Finals, and has reached the Conference Final in six of the last eight seasons. 

He's a winner everywhere he goes.

Sitting at 494 career goals, Hossa is approaching another impressive milestone, seeking to become the 44th player in NHL history to join the 500-goal club and adding to his illustrious career.

One member of that club is Bobby Hull, who ranks 16th on the all-time scoring list with 610 goals. And if he had the opportunity to play alongside the Slovakian winger, the Blackhawks legend and current ambassador believes the goals would have come much easier.

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"There is no one that plays this game of hockey that works any harder than Marian Hossa," Hull told CSN's Chris Boden during a recent Blackhawks game. "And sometimes I get a little upset with him: 'Don't work so hard on your defensive game then when you get a chance offensively, you're tired out and you can't put the puck in the net.' But he is a fabulous addition to this hockey club. He can play with anyone. He'll make a hockey player.

"You asked me earlier if I would have liked to play with him, I could have kicked 50 in with Marian without a stick.

"If I was coaching this team, I would say, 'Keep your eye on Marian Hossa and play that same way, that same dedicated, up and down way.' I played a different style. I would have loved to play with him because he would have done all the work and I'd have finished it all off."

He may not always get the recognition he deserves, but you don't have to convince anyone in Chicago that Hossa is one of the best two-way players in the game, a great example on and off the ice, and a three-time Stanley Cup champion with a legitimate chance to add another ring or two before his career is all said and done.

Like Hull, Denis Savard, who had 473 career goals in the NHL, was also known as one of the best goal-scorers of his era and believes Hossa could be near the top of that list if he really wanted to.

"The biggest thing for him — and there's a few things obviously, a lot of things that he's done great for this team and this organization — but he's really taught some of our kids to play both ends of the rink, offense and defense," Savard told CSN. "I've never seen a guy come back in his own end as hard as he (does). And I see when we watch our team play, you see some of our young guys do that all the time now. I think they're watching the, I don't want to call him the old man because I think he's going to play quite a few more years, but he's towards the end of his career and he still has a lot of success.

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"Part of it too because you look at his numbers offensively, they're great numbers, he's going to have 500 goals here coming up soon. But I think it's suffered his game offensively the way he's played defensively, the way he comes back so hard in his own end and spends so much energy on defense.

"His numbers could be 650 goals, but he'd be the one to tell you, 'But I've got three Cups.' He's a great example for our organization and young players what it takes to win Cups."

Hossa is 37 years of age, but he still plays like he's 27.

Coach Joel Quenneville said during training camp that he's "never seen him skate as well as he's skating right now."

Savard retired at the age of 37 after his 17th season. Hossa is right there, currently in his 17th season, but Savard doesn't see him slowing down anytime soon.

"I still see the Marian Hossa that we saw two, three, four, five years ago playing the same way and I don't think that's going to go away," Savard said. "For me, the biggest thing that went away ... my hands were starting to be not as good. So when your hands get a little slow, your feet have to slow down. That's when I knew I was pretty much in trouble. ... Once I lost my speed, my days were pretty much down hill from there. I don't see that in (Hossa) yet."

Check out the full interview in the video above.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: