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Source: Hossa has shoulder injury that may require surgery
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman introduces recently acquired forwards Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky, right, during a news conference by the NHL hockey team Thursday, July 16, 2009, in Chicago.


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Published: 7/22/2009 12:01 AM | Updated: 7/22/2009 7:08 AM

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When the Blackhawks signed Marian Hossa to a franchise-record, 12-year, $62.8 million contract July 1, former general manager Dale Tallon mentioned numerous times Hossa's durability.

Now apparently there is a chance Hossa won't be ready to start the season Oct. 2 in Finland against the Florida Panthers because of what is believed to be a shoulder or rotator-cuff injury suffered during the playoffs while with Detroit.

A source close to the situation confirmed Hossa has a shoulder or rotator cuff problem that might require surgery.

A Hawks spokesman said late Tuesday night the club is monitoring Hossa's rehabilitation from an injury suffered in the playoffs.

At this time the severity of the injury is not known, nor are there details at the moment as to how the injury might have occurred, or when it happened, either in the Western Conference finals against the Hawks or in the Stanley Cup Finals against Pittsburgh.

When the Hawks signed Hossa on July 1, the five-time all-star winger was at home in Stara Lubovna, Slovakia. It's not known if the Hawks gave Hossa a physical prior to signing him or if they waited until Hossa got to town last week.

Hossa was introduced at a United Center news conference Thursday and was on hand at last weekend's fan convention, showing no outward signs of a problem.

Hossa appeared in 74 games for the Red Wings last season and scored 40 goals and 71 points. He hasn't missed more than 10 games in a season since 1998-99 with Ottawa.

The injury might explain why Hossa was quiet in the Finals against Pittsburgh with no goals in the seven-game series.

How seriously Hossa is hurt might impact how GM Stan Bowman approaches the season. While the Hawks have an abundance of forwards and the need for another defenseman, if Hossa can't start the year it might force Bowman to keep his scorers.

There is little question that the Hawks have enough scoring to play through a Hossa injury with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Dave Bolland and Dustin Byfuglien each capable of getting well in excess of 20 goals.