Marian Hossa mourning, will report late

Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa won't be at training camp for several days as he mourns the loss of close friend Pavol Demitra.

Demitra, a former Slovakia national team captain, was among 37 players, coaches and staff of Russia's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club who died last week when their Yak-42 jet crashed outside Yaroslavl en route to their first game of the Continental Hockey League season. Of the 45 people on the plane, 44 died.

Hossa, along with fellow Slovak NHL players Zdeno Chara and Marian Gaborik, attended Demitra's funeral service Thursday in western Slovakia, where Demitra began his career in the top Slovak league in 1992.

The Blackhawks want to give Hossa a few extra days to be ready.

"He'll be here in a couple days," general manager Stan Bowman said. "Marian has gone through a tough time here. I spoke to him the other day. It's a tough situation for him. On a positive note, he had his first child a couple days ago. He's getting that settled as well. We want to give him the time to be ready to step on the ice. Our thoughts are with him."

The Blackhawks' first practice is Saturday. Their first preseason game is Tuesday against Edmonton.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.