Blackhawks

Report: Marian Hossa has no plans to retire before contract with Blackhawks expires

Report: Marian Hossa has no plans to retire before contract with Blackhawks expires

It's no secret Marian Hossa is benefitting greatly from a lengthy offseason, something he's not used to.

After appearing in six Conference Finals and four trips to the Stanley Cup Final — three of which ended in victories with the Blackhawks — in the last nine years, the 37-year-old winger, who turns 38 in January, took full advantage of the extended rest by recharging mentally and physically.

It's reaping benefits early.

Hossa already has 11 goals in 19 games this season following a campaign in which he had 13 goals in 64 contests, the lowest goal output of his career. He's also averaging nearly a point per game, and three of his 11 goals have been game-winners, proving the chatter about Hossa being on the decline was a bit premature.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The question now is, how long does he want to continue playing?

Hossa signed a 12-year, $63.3 million deal in 2009, which means he'd be 42 years old by the time his contract runs out.

His $5.275 million cap hit has been a bargain, but the underlying factor is that beginning next year, his base salary drops to $1 million annually and will stay that way until his contract ends in 2020-21 after it had been north of $4 million for the first eight.

Despite all that, Hossa has indicated he has no plans to retire any time soon and intends on playing out the remainder of his contract. Here's what he confirmed to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts column:

We’ve talked a lot this season about the grind of the compressed schedule and the World Cup of Hockey, but there is one player who definitely benefitted from the extra action: Marian Hossa.

“In some of those games, he was playing 23 minutes,” said Bowman, part of Team North America’s management group. “We were staying at the same hotel and I asked him if he was okay with that. He said, ‘I feel great.’ We’d talked about resting him during the season, but now? We’ll see how it goes.”

Hossa said he benefitted from the Blackhawks’ unusually long summer and, at age 37, plans to play the four remaining years of his contract.

Who can blame him? Nobody is having more fun playing hockey right now than Hossa, who's like fine wine: He seemingly gets better with age.

Blackhawks fill assistant coach vacancy with hiring of Tomas Mitell

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Bildbyrån

Blackhawks fill assistant coach vacancy with hiring of Tomas Mitell

One month after "mutually" agreeing to part ways with assistant coach Don Granato, the Blackhawks have hired 38-year-old Tomas Mitell as his replacement on Jeremy Colliton's staff. 

Mitell spent the past two seasons as head coach of AIK Hockey (Allsvenskan) in Sweden, where he guided the team to an overall record of 64-27-13. He led AIK to a league-best 35-8-9 record during the 2018-19 campaign, with their 35 wins and 109 points each setting franchise records.

Perhaps more notably: Mitell served as an assistant coach under Colliton with Mora IK (Allsvenskan) during the 2016-17 season, so there's obvious familiarity between the two. 

Mitell rounds out Colliton's staff that also includes assistant coach Sheldon Brookbank and veteran goaltending coach Jimmy Waite. It's a young group behind the Chicago bench, with Colliton (34), Brookbank (38) and Mitell (38) each having little NHL coaching experience but offer a new-school way of thinking.

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Blackhawks sign 26-year-old Swedish forward Anton Wedin

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AP

Blackhawks sign 26-year-old Swedish forward Anton Wedin

The Blackhawks have always been active in the overseas market, and they landed another on Thursday after announcing the signing of 26-year-old Swedish forward Anton Wedin on a one-year, $925,000 contract for the 2019-20 campaign.

Wedin had a breakout season with Timra IK of the Swedish Hockey League, where he set a career high with 27 points and led the team with 14 goals in 32 regular season games. He also added nine points (two goals, seven assists) in seven postseason contests.

Wedin is a 5-foot-11, 194-pound winger and carries a left-handed shot. He's known to be a speedy forward and can play a 200-foot game. Wedin is likely to compete for a bottom-six spot for the Blackhawks in training camp, and it doesn't hurt that Jeremy Colliton knows what he brings to the table having coached against him in Sweden when he was with Mora IK.

The Blackhawks' most recent overseas signings include Dominik Kahun, David Kampf and Artemi Panarin. They’re hoping Wedin can join that group as potential impactful players.

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