Eddie Olczyk is still around the Chicago Blackhawks plenty, but he strapped on the skates for the first time in a very long time on Sunday.
Olczyk took part in the Blackhawks tradition of "One More Shift," where they have a former player of note skate around the ice prior to the ceremonial puck drop.
Olczyk, a native of Chicago who spent five of his 16 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks and is currently a television analyst for the team, was a perfect choice for the honor on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at United Center. He missed much of last season in the booth while battling stage 3 colon cancer.
"For me, I never had a chance to really say thank you or goodbye when I retired in 2000, for whatever reason. It's kind of 18 years in the making," Olczyk said. "There'll be great closure, but also on this incredible day and the initiative with the League [Hockey Fights Cancer]. To tie it in all together and considering, personally, where I was a year ago today, it'll mean a lot. I'm very thankful for the Blackhawks to allow me to have One More Shift."
Olczyk, never one for nerves, wasn't concerned about dusting off his old skates and old No. 16 sweater.
"I've only had about 7,000 people tell me not to fall," Olczyk said. "There are no speedbumps out there, they don't need that, and I won't be going that fast. But it's a great honor."
NHL.com Staff Writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report.