Blackhawks

Marian Hossa's return a welcome sight for Blackhawks

Marian Hossa's return a welcome sight for Blackhawks

Marian Hossa looked like he hadn’t missed a day.

Despite being out with an upper-body injury since Dec. 20, Hossa was back batting for pucks, skating well and throwing in a successful slap shot in the Blackhawks’ practice-ending shootout drill.

“It’s exciting to have him back in the lineup but more importantly, for his sake, he looked really good out there. Looks like he hasn't missed a beat,” Kane said. “Any time you get a player of that caliber that adds so much to your lineup back in, hopefully he’s playing tomorrow and it should give us a big boost.”

Hossa is expected to play on Thursday when the Blackhawks host the Buffalo Sabres and the right wing can’t help but give the team a boost. The Blackhawks are 1-4-1 in Hossa’s absence – since he only played three minutes of that Ottawa game, you might as well include it. They’ve suffered in a few categories without him, from puck possession to scoring. So Hossa, his puck-possession, puck-battle success rate and his 16 goals, are definitely welcomed back.

Now to see if Hossa goes right back to the great level he was at prior to his injury.

“We’ll see,” Hossa said. “Hopefully it’s not going to be too bad, but obviously missing close to two weeks, maybe you can look at it as it’s not that much. But when you play in the middle of the season, you can feel it. So definitely… [I] want to make sure I get myself into the game.”

Again, if it means anything, Hossa looked great on Wednesday. Missing just over two weeks was frustrating for Hossa, who has played great this season, but it wasn’t worth rushing back.

“I would love to be back faster, but at this point, it was smarter to wait,” he said. “Obviously you don’t want to lose too much when you feel you’ve got things going your way, but sometimes you cannot help it.”

The Blackhawks have been good about wading through injuries this season but you only have to look at their record to know how much they missed Hossa. Who knows if he picks up right where he left off but, even if the goals aren’t there immediately, the rest of his much-needed game should be.

“He’s been a big part of our offense with timely goals this year, plus you use him in all situations,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Just his presence adds so much to our room and our team, and just to watch him in practice you can see that. It was nice having him.”

Former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion Brandon Bollig announces retirement

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AP

Former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion Brandon Bollig announces retirement

A former Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion has decided to hang up the skates.

Brandon Bollig officially announced his retirement in an Instagram post after five seasons in the NHL, three of which came in Chicago.

"Thank you to the game of Ice Hockey for the wonderful experience, countless memories and valuable lessons," Bollig wrote. "You’ve made me the person I am today and I’ll be forever grateful. I have officially retired."

Bollig signed with the Blackhawks as an undrafted free agent in 2010, but didn't make his team debut until the 2011-12 campaign. In three seasons in Chicago, he accumulated 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 125 games and 201 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 24 playoff contests, where he recorded a goal and an assist, and was a part of the 2013 championship-winning team.

Bollig was traded for a third-round pick in the summer of 2014 to the Calgary Flames, where he spent his final two seasons in the league. He signed a one-year, two-way contract with the San Jose Sharks for the 2017-18 season, but never received a call-up and was later traded to the Nashville Predators organization.

Bollig was known for being an agitator and great teammate, sticking up for them on the ice whenever the chance presented itself. But he was also known for being a jokester.

So let's never forget the time he tried to imitate Patrick Kane's viral stickhandling video and send him off into the sunset by reliving it:

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Blackhawks prospects Evan Barratt, Ian Mitchell nominated for Hobey Baker Award

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AP

Blackhawks prospects Evan Barratt, Ian Mitchell nominated for Hobey Baker Award

A pair of 2017 Blackhawks draft picks are up for college hockey's most prestigious honor.

Penn State forward Evan Barratt and Denver defenseman Ian Mitchell are among the 81 players nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, which is annually given to the most outstanding player in Division-1 men's hockey.

Barratt, a third-round selection (No. 90 overall), is tied for second in the nation with 30 points and fourth with 13 goals through only 19 games. He appeared in seven games for Team USA during the 2019 World Juniors, where he scored a goal and ranked second on the team with 25 shots on goal.

Mitchell, a second-round selection (No. 57 overall), leads all Denver defensemen with 18 points and ranks fifth on the team with 0.83 points per game. Two of his three goals this season have been game-winners. Like Barratt, Mitchell also represented his country for the World Juniors. He had three points (one goal, three assists), a plus-6 rating and averaged 15:42 of ice time for Canada.

The Phase 1 fan voting period is officially open and will run through Sunday, March 10. The Top-10 finalists will be announced on March 20. From then until March 31, Phase II voting will be open to determine the Hobey Hat Trick, which will be announced on April 4. 

The winner will be revealed on April 12 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Fans can cast their vote at https://www.hobeybaker.com/vote .

Dylan Sikura was named one of 10 finalists last season, and was the first Blackhawks prospect to do so since Tyler Motte in 2016.

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