Marian Hossa lay on the ice motionless for several minutes, felled by a high, leaping hit by Phoenix forward Raffi Torres. The call for a stretcher went through the Zamboni tunnel at the United Center, and soon after Hossa was wheeled off, completely immobilized.
Now the Blackhawks will wait to see if their top forward is all right.
Hossa was leveled by Torres 11:51 into the first period and was taken to a hospital during Game 3 of the Blackhawks Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Coyotes on Tuesday night. Inexplicably, Torres wasnt called for a penalty on the play but one would think supplemental discipline is in his future.
Torres has a history; he has been suspended at least twice and fined once by the NHL for previous infractions. The former Vancouver Canuck forward escaped suspension when he had a high hit on Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook during their playoff series last spring.
Its tough, Patrick Kane told Sarah Kustok during first intermission. You saw the hit. I think itll be reviewed by the league. Its just tough you dont get a power play out of it. Hossas a big part of our team so someones going to have to step up and fill the void.
Andrew Brunette told WGN Radio that refocusing after something like that is tough.
I think it has to go back in the hockey game, Brunette said of the focus. All our thoughts and prayers are with Marian, hopefully hes doing OK. Hes such a great guy and teammate that for us not to have him here kind of stinks. But we need to get back to hockey, and unfortunately thats part of the game.
Still images of the hit and aftermath:
The worst kept secret is finally out of the bag.
The White Sox officially announced the signing of free agent Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to a minor-league contract, which includes a $26-million signing bonus.
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“We are excited to add Luis — another young, extremely talented and impactful prospect — to the White Sox organization,” White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn said. “Luis has the potential to be a dynamic, five-tool player at the major-league level, and we look forward to watching him develop in our system over coming seasons. Luis will immediately be viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball, and his signing adds to the growing depth of quality young players within our organization.”
The 19-year-old Robert played in 210 career games (including postseason) with Ciego de Ávila in the Cuban Serie Nacional and had a .315/.402/.467 slash line with 20 home runs, 92 RBI and 29 stolen bases.
Robert slides into the No. 2 spot on the White Sox Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.
Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.
“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”
Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.
The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.