After an extra year-long wait due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's officially official: Marian Hossa and Doug Wilson have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hossa, who got the call in his first year of eligibility, registered 1,134 points (525 goals, 609 assists) in 1,309 games across 19 NHL seasons with five different teams. He, most notably, won three Stanley Cups as a member of the Blackhawks, where he spent his final eight seasons.
Hossa was an eight-time 30-goal scorer and considered to be one of the best two-way forwards ever. It's difficult to find a player that was as universally respected both on and off the ice as Hossa, who expressed lots of love to the city of Chicago in his speech.
"I cannot thank Rocky Wirtz and his family enough for the opportunity to be a long-term Blackhawk," Hossa said. "And to Dale Tallon and Stan [Bowman] for assembling the tremendous group I got to play with, guys like Tazer, Seabs, Duncs, Kaner, Sharpie, Hammer and many others.
"I will never forget meeting Joel Quenneville for the first time. He said: 'Hoss, we are going to have lots of fun together. You're going to love it here.' You know what? He was right.
"Having so much success in my eight years in Chicago, I want to acknowledge some of the people I worked with, kept me going who wouldn't always get the credit they deserve: Thanks to trainers like Troy Parchman, Jimmy [Heintzelman], Mike Gapski, Jeff Thomas, Pawel Prylinski and Pauly Goodman for taping me together and Dr. [Michael] Terry for putting me back together and keeping my skin condition at bay as long as you did. Clint Rief, may he rest in peace. I'm sure you are keeping an eye on things tonight."
Wilson was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in his 24th year of eligibility. And it was about time.
Among defensemen in NHL history, Wilson ranks 12th in goals (237), 15th in points (827) and 18th in assists (590). He spent 14 of 16 seasons in Chicago, where he won the Norris Trophy in 1982 and finished top-five in voting four times.
Wilson was drafted by the Blackhawks with the No. 6 overall pick in 1977. He had many people from the Blackhawks to thank, including those who aren't with us anymore.
"Stan Mikita, obviously a Hall of Famer, was my very first NHL roommate," Wilson said. "He always had a saying that he would teach me: 'You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.'
"Keith Magnuson, one of the finest men I've ever met in my life, he was a guy that would do things and teach you that the greatest gift you can give anybody is time.
"Another gentleman that we just lost recently, one of my biggest mentors, was Tony Esposito. His love of life, his work ethic, his commitment. We miss them all.
"The Chicago Blackhawks organization. Obviously I have to thank them, I was drafted by them. It was an honor to play in front of the great fans and play in the old Chicago Stadium. Teammates too many name, some obviously I just did. The Denis Savards, the Steve Larmers, etc. It was an honor to play there.
"Two Hall of Fame legends that have been a big impact on me: Broadcaster Pat Foley known as "The Voice" and Bob Verdi, who is one of the great journalists of all time."
A well-deserved night for No. 24 and No. 81. A toast to two Chicago greats.