DETROIT – Two former members of the Detroit Red Wings were inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) on Wednesday.
Former Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland was inducted as a builder while former forward Marian Hossa was inducted for his playing career.
Holland had a super short NHL career as a goalie in the early 1980s. He played a few games for Detroit, then became a scout for the team. He spent the next 34 years with the Red Wing and won four Stanley Cup championships, first in 1997 as the team’s assistant general manager and then three more as GM in 1998, 2002 and 2008.
It’s no secret he’s a respected figure in the NHL, and he’s not even done yet. Holland is now the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, with whom he signed a five-year contract in 2019. He’s managing Connor McDavid’s team with the pressure of competing for a Stanley Cup, like, yesterday. He wanted to keep working, looking for a new challenge and perhaps the ultimate swan song with McDavid in Edmonton.
His last few years in Detroit may have been disappointing as the team started to age, injuries mounted, free agent signings didn’t work out and the wins soon became harder to come by, but that doesn’t take away from his 20 years of excellence. He helped make the Red Wings the league’s model franchise for decades.
Marian Hossa is one of the best players in NHL history, period. He amassed more than 500 goals and 1,134 points in 1,309 career NHL games. Better yet, he tallied 149 points in 205 career playoff games. He was a monster at times, using his 6-foot-1, 200-plus-pound frame to overpower opponents at both ends of the ice.
Hossa had power, speed, great hands and a stellar mind for the game of hockey. He was a pleasure to watch for so many years. He scored at least 30 goals in eight seasons and had three 40-goal seasons, one of which was his only season with the Red Wings in 2008-09. Hossa scored 40 goals that season, helping the Red Wings power back to the Stanley Cup finals.
Hossa had 15 points in the playoffs, but his 6 goals were not enough to get Detroit past Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins. The crushing thing for Hossa that year was that he had just lost the Cup final to the Red Wings the year before, when he was a Penguin.
That very next year he finally won his Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. He is the first player to appear in three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals with three different teams.
He won a second and third Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015.
Hossa was still going strong in his late 30s with Chicago, but a skin allergy forced him into retirement before the 2017-18 season. It was a tough way for him to go out, but he had made his mark and is very deserving of the HOFF honor.