When NHL fans last saw Marian Hossa, the Chicago Blackhawks two-way forward was being stretchered off the ice after a late and high Raffi Torres hit knocked him into an unwelcome dream state.
Incredibly, Torres was not penalized on the play but was suspended 25 games by the NHL. (On appeal, they later reduced it to 21 games, including remaining playoffs.)
The Blackhawks lost that series to Torres' Phoenix Coyotes in six games, while the Coyotes went on to a dream march to the Western Conference finals which meant that Torres only has the first eight games of this abbreviated season to serve out his suspension. (Like a recidivist at a parole hearing, the man who's encountered NHL supplementary discipline six times vows to change.)
Meanwhile Hossa rehabbed. Perhaps one of the few NHL players to benefit from the lockout, he wasn't cleared for play until mid-November, which should have been a quarter of the way into the regular season.
Marian Hossa is back (...and Raffi Torres still sits)
SB Nation | Jan 21