Marian Hossa sat out a game of the Stanley Cup Final with a pinched nerve in his back, and fought back problems for most of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It appears the Slovak forward's problems with injury have continued into the 2013-14 season.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told the media on Thursday that Hossa would miss at least the next four Blackhawks pre-season games due to an "upper body" injury. "He aggravated an injury there," coach Joel Quenneville said following the Hawks' morning skate prior to playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center. "I wouldn't expect him in the next four games here in the five nights. We'll see how he progresses after that."
Missing the next four games would mean the soonest Hossa might return is in Chicago's season finale at home against Washington a week from Saturday. The Blackhawks play four games in the next five nights, then take four days off the exhibition schedule. Chicago opens up the regular season Tuesday, Oct. 1 at United Center, again taking on the Washington Capitals.
Hossa has been one of the most prolific scorers in recent NHL history. He put up 17 goals and 31 points last season in just 40 games. He has 434 career goals in the NHL, and is also nearing 1000 points. He's spent the last four seasons in Chicago, and has been a key part of their two Stanley Cup wins in that time.