Marian Hossa’s No. 81 will never be given out again by the Blackhawks.
Hours after signing a ceremonial one-day contract to unofficially retire as a Hawk, the Hawks organization announced Hossa will become the eighth player in team history to have his number retired.
He’ll join Glenn Hall (No. 1), Pierre Pilote and Keith Magnuson (who share No. 3), Bobby Hull (No. 9), Denis Savard (No. 18), Stan Mikita (No. 21) and Tony Esposito (No. 35) in the United Center rafters when the jersey retirement officially occurs.
The Slovakian forward played only 534 of his 1,309 career (regular season) NHL games with the Hawks, but nonetheless made a huge impact as arguably the best free-agent signing in team history.
His arrival in 2009-10 put the budding Hawks dynasty over the top en route to their first Stanley Cup, and he played integral roles in the 2013 and 2015 championships, as well. He finished with 415 regular-season points and another 73 postseason points (in 107 postseason games) for the Hawks.
He played his final NHL game for the Hawks in 2017, but technically finished his career on the Coyotes due to his contract’s inclusion in a salary cap-management trade.
His selection for jersey retirement starts to answer many of the long-debated questions about how the Hawks will handle the jersey retirement aspect of their dynasty’s core.
Eliminated now is the theory they might hang one banner for all members of the core. And with Hossa chosen, it’s nearly certain that Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will all be retired, too, as fellow three-time Cup champs. Corey Crawford, who only won two, sits on the bubble.