Chicago forward Marian Hossa says he’s recovering on schedule from a brutal hit that ended his season in Game 3 of the Blackhawks’ opening-round playoff series loss to Phoenix in April.
Hossa, who led the Blackhawks with 77 points last season, was knocked out and suffered a concussion when the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres left his feet to deliver the high, hard blow in the first period of the game on April 17.
Hossa was rushed off the ice on a stretcher and went to the hospital.
On Friday, Hossa said he had resumed high-intensity off-ice training several weeks ago and has experienced no ill effects. He has not yet started skating again, however.
”Right now I’m better and where I want to be,” Hossa said. ”Everything has been good so far.
”I’ve been able to train at a high level so far and that’s my goal. It will be a little different when I get on the ice and get hit or someone pushes me.”
Torres received a 25-game suspension on April 21 and missed the Coyotes’ final 13 playoff games.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reduced the suspension by four games on July 2, so Torres will sit out the upcoming preseason and the first eight games of the 2012-13 regular season.
Hossa still isn’t able to recall all the details of the hit.
”For a few seconds I didn’t know where I was,” he said. ”And basically I ended up in the hospital and then I started remembering things. The first few days I was in a dark room and slowly things became a little better.
”Time has passed by and it’s very helpful. It just took time to calm down and relax.”
Hossa said he was angry at Torres after the incident, but now he’s focused on the future.
”Now I’m just looking ahead,” he said.
So is Hossa’s teammate, fellow star forward Patrick Kane.
Kane said on Friday he was embarrassed by Internet photos that showed him partying during a weekend in Madison, Wis., in early May.
Until a session before the opening of the Blackhawks’ fan convention on Friday, Kane hadn’t spoken to the media since the story broke.
”It was embarrassing,” Kane said ”That’s the first thing I can say. From all the pictures that came out, everything, from the Hawks organization, to my family, to myself personally, it’s embarrassing.
”Hopefully it’s something I can learn and mature from. It’s still part of my maturation process and something I’m still trying to get better at.”
Kane said he realizes that his public off-ice activities are apt to end up in the spotlight and online. So he plans to be more cautious in the future.
”I’ve got to realize who I am as a person and remember where I am,” he said. ”I’ve got to recognize who I am in certain situations.”
When asked if he had a drinking problem, Kane said, ”I don’t think so.
A lot of rumors are being made about those stories and different things like that,” he added. ”But it’s something I’ve put behind me and I don’t want to put myself in that position again.”