Marian Hossa joined his Blackhawks teammates on the ice for the first time Wednesday following the tragic loss of his friend, Pavol Demitra, and the birth of his daughter, Mia.
Hossa remained in his native Slovakia after a plane crash on Sept. 7 claimed the lives of Lokmotive Yaroslavl, a Russian pro team which included Demitra. He and his wife, Jana, celebrated the birth of their daughter just two days later.
"It was a tough week," Hossa said. "First, the tragic accident that happened. It was terrible. There were a couple of people on that plane I knew really well, and one really close one. It was tough to deal with that. After the next couple of days, my daughter was born. From death to [birth], it was really upside down. It was a really tough time. At the end of it, it was the best day of my life."
Hossa attended a memorial and other services for Demitra before leaving for training camp. Coach Joel Quenneville said his standout winger won't play in the next three preseason games. Hossa arrived in Chicago Tuesday night.
"We're certainly happy to have him back," Quenneville said. "We appreciate what he's gone through and where's he's at. I think playing some hockey will help him. ... It's a trying time for him and I commend him for how he's handled it."