After nearly a week away, sidelined by an upper-body injury, Marian Hossa returned to Blackhawks on Friday. The 34-year-old winger will not play in the team's preseason finale on Saturday against Washington, but Head Coach Joel Quenneville remains hopeful that he will be set to play in the regular-season opener on Oct. 1.
"[I'm] definitely much better after the week off," Hossa said. "I took my time, and in the last few days I felt better.”
“I’m going to be 35 years old, so there will be more injuries than when I was younger,” he said. “I’ll take care of it now and hopefully it’ll be healthy the rest of the year. I’ll try to go into the season in a positive way and keep up with the young guys.”
With a player who has skated as many minutes for as many years as Hossa, Quenneville says that the team will continue to manage Hossa's time on the ice.
“With any player, health is a priority,” Quenneville said. “Whether it’s the frequency of games, back-to-backs, ice time or dressing that night. When they’re capable of going, go. If not, we’ll be smart.”
Though some would question how missing all six preseason games would affect the former All-Star, who has consistently been one of the Blackhawks' top forwards since arriving in 2009, Hossa believes that he will be able to overcome the lack of play when he feels physically sound.
"We [didn't play preseason games] last year, and it worked pretty well," he said.