The Athletic’s Scott Powers writes that Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa is just fine with whatever comes his way during the 2016-17 season. The 37-year-old winger has slowed a bit since joining the Hawks in 2009-10 and had his lowest point total since the 1998-99 season. Powers reports that Hossa is cognizant of where he is in his career, and that the extra rest following a first round playoff loss to the Blues has recharged Hossa mentally and physically.
Hossa is comfortable with a more defensive-minded role, Powers adds. The gifted two-way forward’s impact on possession should remain stable even while his numbers decline. Underrated throughout the seven seasons of his Blackhawk career is the impact he has on the ice disrupting plays defensively, and then setting up scoring chances at the other end–oftentimes in the same shift.
Though he climbs in age, Hossa’s value to the Hawks is anything but diminished. If the Hawks are fortunate enough to land Jimmy Vesey, the offense that Vesey could generate would more than compensate for Hossa’s drop off. If anything, a full-out defensive minded Hossa would only ratchet up the Stanley Cup expectations in Chicago.
In other NHL news:
- Adrian Dater argues that the purported angst between Tyson Barrie and the Colorado Avalanche isn’t as bad as many think. He also shoots down the rumor that the Avs will deal the young d-man. Dater indicates that the Avs still own Barrie’s rights for another three seasons and wouldn’t dream of dealing him unless the trade package was significant. Dater writes that the Avs are in the “driver’s seat” when it comes to Barrie and that both sides see this negotiation as business, not personal.
- Dater also weighs in on the Vesey-to-Blackhawks speculation and claims that the Hawks would likely use Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as recruiting tools to bring the young forward into the fold. With every organization being bound to the same financial constraints, Dater writes that the Hawks are head and shoulders above other teams because of their prestige and standing in the league. Vesey would also be an affordable top six forward for the Hawks. In true Dater fashion, he concludes by saying “he’s been wrong before.” Regardless, Dater joins the cacophony of voices reporting the Hawks’ high chance of landing the coveted winger.