OTTAWA, Ontario - Marian Hossa is back in Ottawa representing the Chicago Blackhawks for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, but he still looks back fondly on his time with the Senators organization. That time could have been even better if the Senators were just a little bit luckier, according to Hossa.
"Back then, we had a great team in Ottawa," Hossa said. "Rob Zamuner, who's working for the (players' association), and I sat down yesterday and talked about it. We had such a great team back then. We were missing a little bit of luck, but, like I said, coming back here is always full of great memories."
One of the major reasons for the greatness of that team, in Hossa's mind, was Daniel Alfredsson.
"We don't have to talk about how great he is on the ice, but also outside of the ice. He has charisma, he's a great leader, he's the best person. He made the atmosphere around us much easier. It was always loose, fun, and he's a respectful person. When there were young guys coming in, he'd come in and help them out. When somebody was struggling, he was always the first guy helping out. He's just such a good character."
Still, Hossa isn't too bent out of shape that he'll be playing against most of his old Senators teammates, rather than alongside them.
"Overall, playing for whatever team, it's going to be great fun. There are world-class players on both sides, so it doesn't matter."
Hossa said he's expecting to compete in the fastest skater challenge on Saturday at the Skills Competition, but he isn't quite sure what to expect--especially since, in his estimation, he isn't even the fastest skater on the Blackhawks. (Hossa said that honour probably belongs to Viktor Stalberg.)