Before the Blackhawks’ convention, Marian Hossa sends a message to fans

15 October 2016: Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Marian Hossa (81) in the 3rd period during a game between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The Chicago Blackhawks won 5-3. (Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – His departure from the team was a foregone conclusion over the last year since a skin condition flared up, taking him out for the 2017-2018 Blackhawks’ season.

In May he told a Slovakian newspaper that he was done with hockey, and the team made his departure official by trading his contract to the Arizona Coyotes in a multi-player deal.

So there one thing that was left for Marian Hossa was to say goodbye to the team that he made such a major contribution for the past decade, and the organization which he finally won a championship.

Before the team’s convention this weekend at the Hilton Chicago, one he won’t attend since he’s no longer with the team, Hossa wanted to give the fans one more goodbye.

“You guys welcomed us with open arms, and made us feel at home for eight years,” said Hossa in the video posted to Twitter by the Blackhawks this week. “We want you to know how much we appreciate it. We celebrated so many unforgettable moments. Because of the role you play in those memories, the City of Chicago will be forever in our hearts.”

Hossa joined the Blackhawks as a free agent in 2009 and played eight seasons with the Blackhawks, establishing himself as the leader of a still young core of players with the team. He scored 186 goals in Chicago along with 229 assists and three times helped the team to a Stanley Cup title, which the franchise hadn’t won in 49 years before their 2010 championship.

Someday he’ll be one of the legends of the franchise that makes his way back to the Windy City to be saluted at the Blackhawks’ convention. But for now, it’s all about goodbyes for one of the key players to the recent Blackhawks’ run of success.