Hossa will continue to rest when needed

February, 25, 2014
Powers By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and forward Marian Hossa will continue to discuss whether the veteran needs additional time off the remainder of the season.

[+] EnlargeMarian Hossa
Bill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesThe plan to keep Marian Hossa fresh with limited practice time likely will continue through the end of the season.
The 35-year-old Hossa participated in his first team practice Tuesday since returning from playing for Slovakia in the Olympics. Prior to the Olympics, Hossa was permitted to skip six on-ice workouts, including morning skates and practices, but he continued to play in all of the games. He had three goals and four assists over the six-game road trip.

"I think on those days on the road trip where he didn't practice, that was on a need basis," said Quenneville, whose Hawks have 22 regular-season games remaining before the playoffs. "He wasn't 100 percent, so we kind of (had) maintenance days.

"He feels good right now. If he feels like there's a need to take days off, he has a pretty good assessment of his body and where he's at. We'll visit with that if he needs days off between here and the end of the year and the guys that are all returning over the last day or so, those guys will be getting some consideration a lot of days. But I don't foresee a lot of practices between now and the rest of the season."

Hossa believes the key is for him and Quenneville to communicate about his status.

"I'm sure me and him will have a talk," Hossa said. "If it's the right time and the right decision and he's OK with it, we'll do it. If I feel and he feels it's better to practice, I'll practice.

"It's just all about communication and what's better for the team. If I feel better when I have a little extra rest and I feel better on the ice, why not to benefit the team? It's all about communication, and I'm open to either."

Hossa said Tuesday he felt fine and had already adjusted to the time difference from Russia.

Hossa was disappointed with Slovakia was eliminated by the Czech Republic in the qualification round of the Olympics. Hossa finished the tournament with two goals, one assist, four penalty minutes, 13 shots on goal and an average of 19:26 in ice time over four games.

"Obviously our team didn't finish the way we wanted," Hossa said. "We definitely weren't satisfied with what we achieved there. But the experience was great. It was fun to be a part of it. But like I said, hockey-wise, we weren't great.

"I think the overall experience was great. I think everybody was a little bit worried that we're going to Russia, but I think they did an excellent job. Everything went pretty smooth. The security and the villages, the stadiums, everything was top notch. Even the food was great. So, no complaints at all."
Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.



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Patrick Kane
64 27 37 10
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 26
GAAC. Crawford 2.29