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Top 10 Blackhawks stories of 2018: The Marian Hossa trade at No. 5

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Perhaps the best free agent signing in Chicago sports history.

Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Each day for the rest of the year, Second City Hockey will countdown the top 10 Blackhawks stories of 2018.

The future of former Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa never seemed like it was going to include a return to the United Center. In the summer of 2017, a report suggested Hossa’s hockey career was in jeopardy due to mounting side effects from medication used to treat a rare skin disorder. The Blackhawks later confirmed the future Hall of Fame winger would miss the entire 2017-18 season because of the skin condition.

However irrational the hope, however impossible it seemed, Hossa was still under contract with the Blackhawks and, theoretically, could make a return to the lineup in the following seasons if the skin condition was cured. But those hopes were permanently dashed when Hossa’s contract was part of a seven-player trade with the Coyotes in July 2018.

Chicago also sent forward Vinnie Hinostroza, defenseman Jordan Oesterle and a 2019 third-round pick to the Coyotes for forwards Marcus Kruger and Jordan Maleta, defenseman Andrew Campbell, winger MacKenzie Entwistle and 2019 fifth-round pick.

Two months prior to the trade, Hossa told a Slovakian newspaper that his hockey career was over, citing the skin condition that cost him the 2017-18 season.

“I will not play hockey anymore,” Hossatold Slovakia newsoutlet Novy cas. “I have a valid contract with Chicago for the next three years, but I have only one health and it does not allow me to return.”

The combination of that statement from Hossa and the trade to the Coyotes closed the book on one of the NHL’s most storied careers, although Hossa’s contract will remain on Arizona’s books through the 2020-21 NHL season.

Hossa’s career spanned 1,309 games in 19 seasons, with 525 goals and 609 assists. He spent eight seasons with Chicago, tallying 186 goals and 229 assists in 534 games. He also played in 205 postseason games, with 52 goals and 97 assists, including 21 goals and 52 assists in 107 playoff games with the Blackhawks. Hossa won three Stanley Cup championships, all with the Blackhawks: in 2010, 2013 and 2015.