Marian Hossa has been through a gamut of situations in his career, from an all-around talent under-used and almost under-recognized with the Ottawa Senators to lost in a non-hockey market with the Atlanta Thrashers to a last-second non-trade to the Montréal Canadiens (won instead by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have a knack for that sort of thing - see Jarome Iginla - maybe GM Ray Shero has a wide array of compromising photographs of all his colleagues in one of his drawers) to a Stanley Cup Finals loser with both the Pens and the Detroit Red Wings to, finally, a key cog in two Cup championship teams with the Chicago Blackhawks. Quite a resume, no?
Often forgotten playing behind talents such as Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Hossa should nonetheless pass the 1000-point mark next season (he currently stands at 935 in 1018 games), and passed the 400-goal mark in December 2011. He also has 43 goals and 113 points in 152 playoff games despite starting his career on a Sens team that had a nasty habit of getting completely shut down by Pat Quinn's Toronto Maple Leafs.
A Slovak player, he also has a reasonable chance at an Olympic medal this coming winter; Team Slovakia finished 4th in Vancouver in 2010, on the strength of incredible goaltending by Jaroslav Halak, steady defense by Zdeno Chara, and Hossa's 9 points in 7 games. He has 67 points in 71 games with his country's men's teams, despite starting out at 18 years old and having never medalled.
I've been a big fan of his since his days in Ottawa, though I lost track of him a bit when he played for the Thrashers. I think he's a perfect fit on the Hawks, though, and that's why I'm very happy to have this card:
Had he been a center rather than a winger, I'm sure he'd be as widely highly regarded as Pavel Datsyuk. He's probably happy playing in his teammates' shadow, though.