Hawks' Hossa still can't believe his number will be retired originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
History will be made in Chicago on Sunday when Marian Hossa's No. 81 is officially raised to the United Center rafters. He's the only player in Blackhawks history to wear that number and will obviously be the last.
Hossa spent eight of his 19 NHL seasons in Chicago, where he racked up 415 points (186 goals, 229 assists) in 534 regular-season games and added 73 points (21 goals, 52 assists) in 107 postseason contests. The Blackhawks don't win three Stanley Cups without his contributions on the ice and impact off of it.
Hossa, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2021, is set to become the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Glenn Hall (No. 1), Keith Magnuson (No. 3), Pierre Pilote (No. 3), Bobby Hull (No. 9), Denis Savard (No. 18), Stan Mikita (No. 21) and Tony Esposito (No. 35).
On Monday, Hossa joined Pat Boyle and me on the Blackhawks Talk Podcast to discuss what Sunday's ceremony will mean to him. He still can't believe it's happening.
"First of all, this is amazing," Hossa said. "I still don't get it. In almost 100-year history of this team, there's only seven players and I'll be the eighth. It's such an honor for me and it means so much to me to be between those special players. I try to enjoy this week with my family. I'm going to have lots of friends, not just Americans, but Slovaks too flying over. I'm really looking forward to it and I try to enjoy every moment."
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