Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
Posted: 12:58 p.m. Updated: 3:14 p.m.
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Marian Hossa is still working through losing a good friend earlier this month. But seeing his baby girl born a few days later has been the saving grace.
Its the best thing that could happen for a person, Hossa said of his daughters birth, which came two days after friend Pavol Demitra was killed in the Lokomotiv plane crash. I lost my friend in the accident and (her birth) made it easier to go through a rough time.
Hockey could have the same good-feeling affect.
Hossa practiced for the first time this preseason on Wednesday, as the Chicago Blackhawks right wing took a few extra days to get through his up-and-down emotional start to September.
Physically, Hossa has never felt better. He said he got away from hockey the first two months of the offseason and relaxed Now Im more hungry, he said. He also got more time to train.
Hossa attended Demitras memorial, which was right before camp began. He asked the Blackhawks if he could take a few more days to deal with everything so he could enter camp focused.
And while Hossa said he needs a day or two to keep up with the guys, coach Joel Quenneville saw otherwise.
Boy, did you notice him on the ice, Quenneville said. The practice picks up; he looked like he was in mid-season form out there. He didnt miss a beat.
Hossa will still have a lot on his mind for some time. Hell always remember the loss of Demitra, and will find a way to honor him this season. But first-time fatherhood is soothing the pain of a friends loss. Hockey should help him move on, too.
Im glad to be here and think about something positive, Hossa said. My teammates welcomed me and Im looking forward to training camp.
Quenneville will go with Alex Salak and Ray Emery again Thursday in Pittsburgh, with Salak starting. Some veterans will play, but Thursdays game will once again feature younger players.
Patrick Kane and Hossa, however, are doubtful for Thursdays game, as well as the next two after that. Quenneville said the two are more likely to play the final three preseason games.
Patrick Sharp watched practice on Wednesday. Quenneville said Sharp feels way better today.
The Blackhawks assigned Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill to their respective training camps on Wednesday. The roster now stands at 52.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.