Blackhawks

Report suggests Blackhawks star Marian Hossa might be forced to end NHL career

Report suggests Blackhawks star Marian Hossa might be forced to end NHL career

LAS VEGAS – When Marian Hossa addressed the media on April 22, two days after the Blackhawks’ postseason was abruptly finished thanks to the Nashville Predators’ four-game sweep of them, he looked the picture of health. As disappointed as he was at the outcome, he smiled as he left the United Center, shaking hands with several members of the media.

But in a Sportsnet report from Elliotte Friedman, Hossa’s health is very much an issue, and it may mean the end of his career. Sources told Friedman that the medication Hossa needs to combat "a serious allergic reaction to the equipment he wears" could require the forward to get his blood tested every few weeks to make sure there were no side effects.

A message left with the Blackhawks had not been returned at the time of this writing.

Hossa has four years remaining on his current contract with a cap hit of $5.275 million per season. Hossa’s salary, however, will be $1 million each of the last four seasons. If Hossa was forced to retire, the Blackhawks would face salary recapture penalties of more than $3.5 million over the next four seasons. If Hossa were to be placed on long-term injured reserve, the Blackhawks would not be responsible for Hossa’s cap it.

Hossa has played in more than 1,300 regular-season games and passed the 500-goal mark with the Blackhawks this past season. He’s been to five Stanley Cup finals, winning three Cups with the Blackhawks.

When asked in April about playing in the World Championships, Hossa said he talked with the Slovakian team’s representatives and said, “at this stage, I’ve been in eight world championships, four Olympics, World Cups, so let the young guys play. Right now, I need to rest some things in my body, but it’s better to allow the young players to play. I’m 38 years old, so it’s time for the young guys to step up.”

But, asked if he was calling it quits, Hossa said, “I’m not calling anything,” to laughs.

If this is it, it would be a sad ending to an otherwise tremendous career.

Blackhawks fill assistant coach vacancy with hiring of Tomas Mitell

tomas_mitell.jpg
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.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Blackhawks sign 26-year-old Swedish forward Anton Wedin

anton_wedin_ap.jpg
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.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.