One of hockey's best players over the past 15 years, Marian Hossa will likely skate in his 1,000th NHL game this Sunday when the Blackhawks take on the Red Wings in Detroit. From the moment Hossa first donned the Blackhawks sweater on Nov. 26, 2009, he has been creating memorable moments for Chicago hockey fans (he did score two goals in that debut effort against the San Jose Sharks). In his three-plus seasons with the Blackhawks, the veteran winger has made highlight reel goals, recorded career milestones and - most importantly - hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Here are some of Hossa's top moments in Blackhawks history.
1. Hossa drops it (Dec. 13, 2009)
From his first Blackhawks game, Hossa has proven his worth to Chicago fans, but few understood the Slovakian forward's tendency to land on the highlight reel. He showed off that talent in a big way during a 4-0 shutout win against Tampa Bay, just his fourth game at the United Center as a member of the Blackhawks.
2. "The Miracle on Madison" (April 24, 2010)
Many remember the final game of the Blackhawks' series against Philadelphia, the one that brought the Stanley Cup to Chicago for the first time since 1961. However, the Hawks' opening series against Nashville may go down in history as Chicago's most competitive series of the entire run, and never were the Blackhawks more desperate at any point during the run to the Cup.
Down by a goal with seconds remaining, Hossa was sent to the penalty box on a boarding call, but despite being down a man, Patrick Kane scored a goal that sent the game into overtime. When Hossa emerged from the sin bin, he sealed the deal and gave Chicago a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
3. Lifting the Cup (June 9, 2010)
A prevailing storyline of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final featured Hossa; a member of the NHL runner-up the two previous seasons - Pittsburgh in 2008, Detroit in 2009 - many in the hockey world wondered if the third time would be the charm. When the Blackhawks were finally crowned champions, there was little doubt who The Captain would hand the Cup off to first.
4. Breaking Murray's mark (Jan. 23, 2011)
No Blackhawks had scored on a penalty shot at home since 1987, when current Blackhawks Radio Analyst Troy Murray dented the net. That was, until Marian Hossa got his chance against Philadelphia.
5. A milestone moment (Dec. 8, 2011)
It may not have been the prettiest goal in his portfolio, a centering pass that his NY Islanders goaltender Al Montoya in just the right way, but Hossa joined elite company with his goal at Nassau Memorial Colisuem, becoming the 85th player in NHL history to reach 400 goals in his career.
6. Speed and skill (Jan. 24, 2012)
Hossa is known as a powerful skater, but that fails to mention his speed, quickness and puck handling, all of which have made him an elite NHLer. That combination was on display against Nashville defenseman Shea Weber and goaltender Pekka Rinne.
7. 900 points for No. 81 (March 20, 2012)
Another big moment in Hossa's career, the right wing recorded his 900th career point on a point-blank tally against the Columbus Blue Jacket. Hossa became just the 96th NHL player to reach the mark.
8. Big win in "Big D" (Jan. 24, 2013)
Hossa's heroics have continued into the current season, and the team's historic run to begin the campaign. With a beautiful setup from frequent collaborator Patrick Kane, Hoss scored the deciding goal in overtime against the Dallas Stars, completing the Blackhawks' come-from-behind victory.
9. Working to the final horn (Feb. 2, 2013)
With precious seconds dwindling down in Calgary, and the Blackhawks in need of a tying tally, Hossa once again came to the rescue, knotting up the game and sending it into overtime.