The Chicago Blackhawks traded Marian Hossa to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, signaling the end of the future Hall of Famer’s tenure in the Windy City.
Hossa, 39, along with forward Vinnie Hinostroza, were traded to Arizona in exchange for the players above, as well as a swap of 2019 third and fifth-round draft picks.
For Hossa, it marks an anti-climactic, bittersweet ending to a nine-year run with the organization. The native Slovakian won three Stanley Cup championships in a six-year span from 2009-15, with the first helping the team end a 47-year title drought.
Hossa’s NHL future has been in doubt dating back to last season. Here is what you need to know about the Marian Hossa trade:
1. Hossa Missed the Entire 2017-18 Season
Hossa did not play for the Blackhawks during the 2017-18 season because of a progressive skin disorder, which is not too uncommon among professional athletes, but not as publicized. He was experiencing allergic reactions to his equipment, and side effects from the medication prescribed to help the issue.
“While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice,” Hossa said.
2. Blackhawks Gain Important Salary Cap Flexibility
Hossa has three years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $5.275 million; the trade was predominantly orchestrated to clear that figure off Chicago’s sheet.
Before the trade was announced, the Blackhawks had approximately $3.9 million in salary cap space, according to CapFriendly.com. The trade allows the team more financial flexibility it hasn’t seen in recent seasons.
The Coyotes will reportedly place his contract on Long Term Injured Reserve:
The contract is financially feasible for the Coyotes, a budget organization, who only pay Hossa $1 million real dollars of his contract for the remaining three years,
3. Hossa Is on His Way to Toronto in the Future
Hossa, the No. 12 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft has built a Hall of fame worthy career.
Hossa ranks 34th on the NHL’s all-time list in goals, 80th in assists, 54th in points, and 60th in games played; he also compiled 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He is a five-time All-Star, who played in five Stanley Cup Final series, going 3-2, with two losses in consecutive years as a member of the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins (played for both losing teams) from 2007-09.
He also led the NHL in shorthanded goals twice (2005-06, 2009-10) and was one of the better two-way wingers during his extensive prime.
4. Hossa’s Playing Career Was First Threatened in 2012
Surprisingly, Hossa remained durable throughout his 19-year career.
The most well-known Hossa injury dates back to a hit from then Coyotes’ forward Raffi Torres in Game 3 of Western Conference Quarterfinal during the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hossa, who sustained a concussion on the Torres’ hit, experienced symptoms – including long periods of sleep – in the aftermath of the play.
It was clear Hossa never fully recovered from the hit, and his playing style slowed down in subsequent seasons – also in large part due to age. His production remained steady enough playing mostly next to Jonathan Toews, who logged the heavier defensive assignments, but Hossa was not nearly as aggressive as years prior.
Torres was suspended 25 games for the hit at the time, which remains one of the most controversial in NHL playoff history.
5. Hossa Was an Important Part in the Community
Along with his wife, Jana, who he married in 2010 and has two daughters with, Mia and Zoha, Marian was a mainstay in the Chicago community, along with teammates Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Because the Blackhawks’ core group of players all signed long-term contract extensions with the team several years ago, the players developed a bond, and were regularly involved in promotion and community events together.
It remains unlikely Hossa plays in the NHL again.