Blackhawks' Patrick Kane on Marian Hossa: 'A perfect hockey player'

Patrick Kane on Marian Hossa: 'A perfect hockey player' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks are officially going to raise Marian Hossa's No. 81 to the United Center rafters on Sunday, and it'll be the first number retired from the three Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

One day, Patrick Kane will have his No. 88 up there too. But he's looking forward to the ceremony that will honor Hossa, who put Chicago over the edge when he signed a 12-year deal with the franchise in 2009.

"It’ll be fun to celebrate his amazing career here in Chicago and also see him and a bunch of our old teammates," Kane said. "He obviously had an amazing career here and was probably one of the best free-agent signings in Chicago sports history. The way he played the game, the teammate he was, definitely deserving of that honor."

Kane sat next to Hossa in the locker room for six or seven years, so he got to know Hossa pretty well. On and off the ice, Hossa was the ultimate pro, and the way he played and carried himself rubbed off on a lot of guys.

Kane sums up Hossa's career perfectly here:

"Great teammate," Kane said. "A lot of good laughs with him. He always seemed to be very even-keeled no matter what was going on. Whether high or lows with the team or high or lows with himself personally, he always seemed to be the same person. I think he knew it was a long season, a lot of games and didn't waste any energy on getting too high or too low.

"Everyone talks about his two-way game, but he had 500 goals, too. He's a pretty impressive offensive player but brought a lot to our team. He was just an all-around great guy, great player. A perfect hockey player."

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