Blackhawks star winger Marian Hossa will wear two numbers for the time being. It's his way of remembering a good friend.
Hossa has former NHL forward Pavol Demitra's No. 38 on his skates. Demitra, a fellow Slovak, died in the plane crash that claimed the Russian pro team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl earlier this month.
"Pavol was a close friend of mine," Hossa said. "It's something I want to do at least through the preseason and maybe a couple of games in the regular season. We'll see. I just want to basically say he's always going to be with me and with us."
Hossa played in his first preseason game Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings. He arrived at camp late after remaining in Slovakia for Demitra's services and the birth of his daughter, Mia.
It hasn't been easy to be away from his daughter, but he's been able to talk to his wife and see his daughter through video chats. He said he feels ready for the season after a long and emotional summer.
"We'll always think about Pavol because he was such a close friend," Hossa said. "When the puck is dropped, I'll worry about the game."