Marian Hossa looks to stay healthy

USA TODAY Sports

The forward's last two seasons are littered with injuries.

When healthy, Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa is one of the most dangerous, thrilling players to watch play the game of hockey. He's an incredibly gifted athlete who always looks impressive out on the ice. The problem, naturally, is that his career -- at least the last couple seasons -- has been littered with injuries.

A concussion ended Hossa's 2011-12 season, after taking an illegal hit from Raffi Torres of the Phoenix Coyotes in Chicago's first round playoff series, and had more concussion problems during the 2012-13 season. Hossa suffered a pinched nerve in his back during the 2013 post-season. It was the reason he sat out Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. He feels good coming into this season, but his back is something he will need to be vigilant about.

"The rest of my life," Hossa said with a laugh, when asked about dealing with injuries. "I have to be smart about it and do a lot of stretches and exercises to help make it stronger, definitely. I had a couple of shots in the summer with my back and a lot of rehab, making it stronger. That was the key to make it better. When they told me I didn't need the surgery I was happy. It's been a good decision so far."

When healthy, Hossa's one of the best offensive players on the planet. He has 434 goals, and is nearing 1,000 points. Last season, in 40 games, Hossa scored 17 goals and 31 points. In the post-season, he had seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 22 games.

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