Hockey's somber offseason marked by enforcer deaths and the plane crash that killed most of a Russian pro hockey team continues to cause ripples throughout the NHL.
Marian Hossa's absence from the opening days of Blackhawks training camp is another example. Hossa was a close friend of fellow Slovakian star Pavol Demitra, who died in the plane crash Sept. 6.
"Marian has gone through a tough time here," general manager Stan Bowman said. "It was one of his close friends. I spoke to him the other day. It's a real tough situation to deal with."
Hossa is expected to join the team in a few days, Bowman said. Hossa and his wife, Jana, also celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Mia, recently.
"On a more positive note, he had his first child a couple days ago as well," Bowman said. "He's getting that settled with his wife."
Hossa attended the services for Demitra in Slovakia and a memorial for the former NHL star on Thursday.
"We certainly want to give him the time to be ready to step on the ice," Bowman said. "He said a couple days he's going to be back here. Our thoughts are with him. It's certainly tough losing a close friend. It's a terrible tragedy and it's not an easy time for him."