Updated: Sunday, Jan. 29 at 7:24 p.m.
KANATA, Ontario The applause hit Marian Hossa as soon as he stepped onto the ice at ScotiaBank Place this weekend. It was, as he called it, warm and welcoming, a fitting greeting for the forward who began his career here back in the late 1990s.
For Hossa, his fifth NHL All-Star Game appearance had special meaning mainly because of the location. The Chicago Blackhawks forward, who had a goal and two assists in Team Charas 12-9 victory over Team Alfredsson on Sunday, has never forgotten those first several years he spent with the Ottawa Senators.
And it was apparent this weekend that Senators fans have not forgotten him.
It was awesome, Hossa said about the weekend. Actually when I found out the game was here and I was picked, I was looking forward to it. Its not just another game. Its a special place to come.
It was an entertaining weekend for both Blackhawks forwards. Patrick Kane took center stage with his breakaway competition-winning Superman moment on Saturday and he added a goal to Team Charas victory on Sunday.
And Hossa just reveled in the four days here. Outside of his All-Star duties, he found time to visit friends that he still has in town. On the ice, he was part of Team Charas lethal top line with Pavel Datsyuk and fellow Slovak Marian Gaborik, who earned MVP honors with his hat trick and assist.
We just tried to move the puck and Gabby scored the first two quick goals, Hossa said. After that we just had fun. We were hoping he got the MVP.
In other words, Hossa wasnt too broken up about not getting that car the MVP is awarded.
That wasnt on my agenda, but Im glad I could help somebody get one, he said. We had good chemistry tonight and we got the MVP on our line, so that was our goal.
Hossas mind will probably be back to regular-season hockey as soon as he heads back to Chicago Sunday night. A game with the Vancouver Canucks looms on Tuesday. But for the last four days, Hossa enjoyed the place he once called home and the Ottawa faithful made him feel like it was that again.
I always had good memories here, he said. I guess people dont forget.