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Classy Marian Hossa nominated for Masterton Trophy

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COYOTES AT BLACKHAWKS

The facts: 7:30, Ch. 9, 97.9-FM.

Updated: May 21, 2013 6:25AM



There were times when Marian Hossa wondered if he’d ever make it back from the severe concussion he suffered during last season’s playoffs, when Phoenix’s Raffi Torres left his feet and delivered a crushing elbow to Hossa’s head. Times when his head just wouldn’t clear, when the headaches just wouldn’t fade.

“Especially the beginning, it was really, really difficult,” the Blackhawks winger said. “You start thinking, ‘What if this, what if that’ in the future. But thank God everything went pretty good. I took lots of time off and after that, I started training, and I think it was the right decision.”

It took nearly seven months for Hossa to be cleared, shortly before Thanksgiving. For his tireless work to get back on the ice in the face of severe injury, and for his charity work both in Chicago and his native Slovakia, Hossa has been nominated by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton is awarded for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport of hockey. Each team in the league has one nominee.

“Hossa’s Heroes” works with children both in Chicago and Slovakia, providing community service and educational support, as well as youth hockey equipment for children whose families can’t afford it.

Sharp better

Patrick Sharp (shoulder) missed his third straight game Friday night, and won’t play Saturday against Phoenix, either. He plans to make the trip to Vancouver and hopes to play Monday. While Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has said he’ll give some players some rest down the stretch. Sharp — whose return after a 14-game absence lasted just two games — wants to play as soon as possible.

“I’m not sitting out because I’m resting for anything special,” Sharp said. “I’m just not playing because I can’t.”

That said, the left wing isn’t worried about getting back into midseason form. When he initially returned at Minnesota on April 9, he got right back into the swing of things.

“Second shift of the second period, I felt like I had been playing all season long,” he said. “It didn’t take long. … I was surprised that I missed a month and felt pretty good right away.”

Injury update

Goaltender Ray Emery (lower-body injury) didn’t dress Friday, and likely won’t Saturday, either. “We may give him some time,” Quenneville said. Carter Hutton was Corey Crawford’s backup. … Defenseman Michal Rozsival (upper-body) skated Friday morning, but didn’t play. Quenneville said he’s “day to day.”

Foley feted

Hawks broadcaster Pat Foley was honored before the game, celebrating his 30th season as the voice of the franchise.

“Rocky Wirtz didn’t have to do anything more for me,” Foley told the crowd. “He gave me my job back, and that’s all I ever wanted.”

“Nobody has to throw a party for me,” he added. “I’m the luckiest guy in the room. I’m a Glenview boy sitting here since 1980, able to watch the greatest athletes in the world play the greatest game in the world in the greatest city in the world in front of the greatest fans in the world.”



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