Chicago Blackhawks officially retire Hossa's number

The Slovak ice-hockey player's '81' jersey number will not be used again.

Marián HossaMarián Hossa (Source: TASR/AP)

After spending most of his professional career playing in the NHL, Slovak ice-hockey star Marián Hossa has now seen his number retired by the Chicago Blackhawks. The club honoured Hossa by raising his jersey number 81 into the rafters at the Blackhawks stadium. No other player will wear it again.

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Marián Hossa’s jersey now accompanies that of another well-known Slovak-born ice-hockey player, 1960s star Stan Mikita.

Hossa won the Stanley Cup three times with the Chicago Blackhawks: in 2009, 2013, and 2015. He played for the club between 2009 and 2018.

“I’ve missed you all,” the hockey player said as he opened the ceremony with a speech in Slovak. “It is an honor for my number to be accompanied with great names like Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, Keith Magnuson, Bobby Hull, Dennis Savard, Tony Esposito and a fellow Slovak – Stan Mikita.”

He wrapped up his address in Slovak: "Ďakujem Chicago, ďakujem Trenčín, ďakujem Slovensko!"

Hossa played in 534 matches for the Chicago Blackhawks and received 415 points. Having his jersey raised to the rafters is only his latest accolade: in 2020 Hossa was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The forward is only the third Slovak ice-hockey player to receive such an honour, following in the footsteps of Mikita and Peter Šťastný.

Related article Hossa: The whole changing room knew my problem Read more 

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