Black Wednesday 2009...a day I will never forget. It was Marian Hossa's first game in Chicago. I was at a bar in the city with my High School friends from St Charles. Why we were at a bar in the city while it was a ghost town I can't remember. What I do remember is getting this warm, fuzzy, guttural, euphoria watching Marian Hossa in the Indian Head sweater for the first time.
Hossa obviously signed in the summer. It was a big deal. Everyone knew it. Then...it was announced that Hossa needed shoulder surgery and would miss the start of the season. It didn't really hurt the Blackhawks too much. They started the 2009 season murdering basically everyone who got in their way. They were 15-5-2 without Hossa.
As good as they were the MINUTE Hossa stepped on the ice the team was noticeably better and different. There's nobody like Hossa. PP, PK, top 6, absolute fucking hound on the puck. They went from a team that was fast and fun to a team that would take away their opponent's will to live. Hossa was a fucking nightmare and even though everyone knew he was a stud when they signed him, we all got an education and an appreciation for exactly the type of player he was starting on this day in 2009. Nobody ever uttered Marty Havlat's name again.
8.5 years later in May 2018 Hossa announced that he would never play again due a skin condition and the Blackhawks were never the same. That isn't a coincidence. It's Thanksgiving though and I am thankful for the near decade I got to watch that guy. Miss him every day.