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Blackhawks to honor Hall of Famer Marian Hossa with jersey retirement

Blackhawks, Marian Hossa

The Chicago Blackhawks will retire a number for just the eighth time in their franchise history this season. The team is honoring a team legend and a freshly inducted Hall of Famer.

The Blackhawks are retiring Marian Hossa’s number 81 jersey on November 20, the team announced. The initial announcement came on April 7 when Hossa signed a one-day contract to retire with Chicago.

“As a kid, you know you dream to play one day in the National Hockey League, the best league in the world,” Hossa said back in April. “Then your goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Your goal is not going into the rafters or going into the Hall of Fame, but I guess somebody really liked my game over those years and this success we’ve had.”

Hossa received his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. He won three Stanley Cups over his 19-year career in the NHL, all with Chicago.

“I was lucky to play with so many great players and a great coaching staff. Thanks also to them. It’s amazing news for me and my family. I’m overwhelmed. It still didn’t sink [in]. It’s amazing,” Hossa said.

Hossa recorded 1134 points in 1309 games over his lengthy career. He spent time with the Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings prior to joining the Blackhawks in 2009.

“To me, the greatest free agent signing in Chicago sports history, Marian was the franchise’s missing piece,” Blackhawks chief executive officer Danny Wirtz said in April. “Both on and off the ice, he made an indelible mark on his teammates and our organization. My family is forever grateful for the contributions Marian made to the Blackhawks. His humble demeanor and vaunted work ethic was everything we could have asked for and more in a superstar when we signed him in 2009.”

While the retirement ceremony will be emotional, it may not be the last time we see Hossa with the Blackhawks. The 43-year-old is discussing a front office role with the team.

“I’d love to come to visit the city and work with the Blackhawks in certain areas, but we haven’t reached the final note, like what exactly it’s going to be. But I know it’s going to be something,” he said. “Definitely looking forward to it. I’m sure when we’re going to have more information, we’ll let you guys know.”