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BLOG: Greatest free-agent signing in Blackhawks history

Looking back on the 10-year anniversary of Chicago signing Marian Hossa

by Harvey Wittenberg /

Free agent signings have been around in the NHL for a while, but they took on a new meaning in 2005 with the implementation of the salary cap.

Just four years later - on July 1, 2009 - the Blackhawks made perhaps their best free agent deal, signing an eventual Hall of Famer, Marian Hossa, to a 12-year, $63 million contract.

Hossa was fresh off back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup Final with two different teams, Pittsburgh and Detroit. The Hawks hadn't been to a Final in 17 years.

The forward had an immediate impact in Chicago, becomming the first player to appear in three straight finals with three different teams and helping to end a 49-year title drought for the Blackhawks in 2010 with 15 points (3G, 12A) in 22 playoff games.

In his nine seasons with Chicago before a skin condition forced the veteran into early retirement in 2018, Hossa compiled 415 points (186G, 229A) in 534 regular season games and ranks among the top dozen all-time Blackhawks in playoff and points.

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