Ask any of Marian Hossa's former teammates about the now Hall of Fame forward and they'll tell you about a player who did everything for his team and didn't need any accolades for it.
There was the thought Hossa wouldn't get into the Hall on Wednesday upon his first ballot because of his lack of individual awards despite his numerous Stanley Cups and scoring the 35th most goals in NHL history (525).
"I didn't think that would be an issue," former Blackhawks teammate Dave Bolland said over the phone shortly after Hossa's big news was announced. "I think the (committee) looks at how many points he's put up, he's in the league for how long and he's got three Stanley Cups, he's been in the Stanley Cup Final five times... He's just an all-around great person, unbelievable person and great leadership with Chicago."
The talents of other Blackhawks stars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith were often recognized above Hossa's and it never fazed him. According to former Hawks teammate Bryan Bickell, Marian did all his talking on the ice.
"He was a guy that kept to himself," Bickell, a part of all three Stanley Cup champion teams Hossa played on, said. "He went on with his business and he knew what he needed to do to be successful. I think different players and different people they do it in different ways. Advertisement
"I think his class in what he did was perfect. He did what he needed to do and he got it done the right way and he didn't need to be in the front of the line with the media or anything like that, he went on with his business, he enjoyed it."
2016 All-Star MVP John Scott is relishing in Marian finally getting the recognition he deserves.
"He was the most underrated player of our generation where he just did everything right," Scott, who was a teammate of Hossa's from 2010-2012, said. "He put up points, he was a great defensive forward. He just kind of went about his business and didn't cause any kind of trouble and he never got any recognition.
"So I was super happy he finally got his due. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the only reason he wouldn't get in is just because people don't really notice him. He just does his job and goes home."
For Hossa, he was able to reach the game's biggest honor for an individual player through hard work and staying goal-oriented, not getting caught up in popularity contests.
"This induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame, it's an unbelievable feeling for me and my family," Hossa said on a Zoom video conference call held by the Blackhawks Thursday morning. "When I started playing hockey, I was never thinking about this type of thing, going to Hall of Fame. I was thinking more, try to go to National Hockey League because it's the best league in the world and when I was there I tried to adjust my goals again and tried to win the Stanley Cup and that was my goal.
"And this, what is happening afterwards it's just an honor and I can look back and see probably the hard work over the almost 20 years was paying off because people who are sitting in Hockey Hall of Fame decided to add my name between the few (new inductees) and I am humbled, honored and grateful for being between these types of people and players."