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Marian Hossa expects to score 500th goal quickly

Blackhawks forward enters season one shy of milestone @NHL

Marian Hossa isn't concerned that he's been waiting to score his 500th NHL goal since late March.

"To tell you the truth, I never even thought about it this summer," the Chicago Blackhawks forward told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday. "Now that you mention it, I can say I have a whole [season] in front of me, and hopefully I'm going to get [No. 500] sooner rather than later. 

"I'm not too worried about it."

Hossa scored his 499th goal against the Minnesota Wild on March 29. He injured his left leg in the third period of his next game, April 3 against the Boston Bruins, and didn't play again in the regular season.

He finished with 13 goals in 64 games, falling one short of the milestone that seemed to be a foregone conclusion heading into the season. Hossa never scored fewer than 22 goals playing that many games in a season, and had 30 two seasons ago.

"I was pretty close to having more than 13 goals last year with so many chances, but the puck didn't want to go in," Hossa said. "I definitely feel like I have more than 13 [in me]. But I don't want to put too many thoughts in my head offensively. I'll just play my game and I know good things will happen."

Video: CHI@STL, Gm7: Hossa uses screen to beat Elliott

Hossa would be the 44th NHL player to score 500 goals, the third born in Slovakia to score that many (Stan Mikita, 541; Peter Bondra, 503), and the fifth to score his 500th with the Blackhawks (Mikita; Bobby Hull; Michel Goulet; Bondra).

Hossa returned from the injury in time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and scored a goal in Game 5, 6 and 7 of a Western Conference First Round loss to the St. Louis Blues. 

At times in the series, Hossa did not play at his usual spot at wing with center Jonathan Toews, and that could continue this season, which begins Oct. 12 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Video: CHI@MIN: Hossa's shorthanded goal ties it at 1

"There are going to be a few changes in the lineup because a few guys left and there are new guys coming in," Hossa said. "It's hard to calculate my role. I'm open to any solution. [Coach Joel Quenneville] and the coaching staff are going to have some ideas. Wherever I play, I'll be happy."

And wherever that is, Quenneville expects the 37-year-old to remain effective.

"I still see him producing, whether he's playing against other teams' best players and whether it's 13 or 20-something [goals], we'll still get a pretty good game without the puck," Quenneville said.

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