CHICAGO – Marian Hossa has two options heading into the offseason.
Option No. 1: Back Surgery. Option No. 2: Shots, but no back surgery.
The Blackhawks’ star 34-year-old forward spoke openly about his injuries Thursday as he and his teammates cleaned out their lockers at the United Center after a dramatic Stanley Cup championship against the Boston Bruins. Hossa met privately with team doctors to discuss his options after meeting with members of the news media.
Hossa said he was injured toward the end of Game 2 against the Bruins. The Slovakia native missed Game 3 and was criticized by former Hawks forward Tony Amonte, but he returned for Games 4, 5 and 6 as the Hawks won the series.
Hossa said he had no doubt that his injury limited him against the Bruins. He tallied 31 points (17 G, 14 A) in 40 games during the regular season and 16 points (7 G, 9 A) during 22 playoff games, but he failed to score against the Bruins.
“I don’t know if I was too effective,” Hossa said. “I was just limping on the ice.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t have as much confidence because everybody around me was much faster. As soon as you get the puck, I wasn’t too confident to do things I usually am able to do. That kind of frustrated me during those games, but the coaches told me to just play your game defensively and that’s going to help us.”
At no point did Hossa feel as if he was putting his career in jeopardy by playing.
“I know they wouldn’t put me in that type of situation,” Hossa said.
Roster moves: The Hawks announced they would buy out the contracts of defenseman Steve Montador and forward Rostislav Olesz if no team claimed them on waivers.
In doing so, the Hawks will free up valuable salary-cap space for next season.
Montador, 33, appeared in 52 games with the Hawks last season but did not play in the NHL this season as he tried to return from head injuries. Olesz, 27, appeared in six games with the Hawks last season but spent all of this season in the minors.
Slow it down: Hawks captain Jonathan Toews will be one of the biggest stars at today’s parade through the streets of Chicago.
As for Toews’ day with the Stanley Cup, he has yet to create an itinerary.
“Not yet,” Toews said. “I’ll guess I’ll do the rounds again back home in Winnipeg with friends and family. Maybe to take a few more quiet moments to let it sink this time.
“I think the last time I had the Cup back home, it was from one place to the next. It happened so fast. It was just a blur. Definitely maybe take it easy this time.”