CHICAGO -- Star forward Marian Hossa missed the beginning of training camp for the Blackhawks while mourning the loss of close friend Pavol Demitra – whose funeral was Thursday in western Slovakia.
Demitra, a former captain of the Slovakian national team, was among the 37 players, coaches and staff of Kontinental Hockey League club Yaroslavl Locomotiv killed in a plane crash last week shortly after takeoff near the town of Yaroslavl, Russia.
Hossa attended the funeral with fellow Slovakian players Zdeno Chara and Marian Gaborik. Hossa's wife also gave birth to their first child recently.
"He's going to be here in a couple days," Chicago Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said. "Marian's gone through a tough time here. That was one of his close friends. I spoke to him the other day and it's a real tough situation for him to deal with. On a more positive note, he had his first child a couple days ago as well, so he's getting that settled with his wife and we certainly want to give him time to be ready to step on the ice. So, in a couple days he'll be back here. Our thoughts are with him."