Chicago Blackhawks: Tony Amonte Should Get Facts Straight Before Ripping Hossa

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Chicago Blackhawks: Tony Amonte Should Get Facts Straight Before Ripping Hossa
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Marian Hossa is a good bet to play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Former Chicago Blackhawks right winger Tony Amonte is entitled to his opinion. He just may want to check his facts before he opens his mouth.

Amonte, who played for the 'Hawks for part of nine seasons, took Marian Hossa to task on Tuesday. Following Hossa's absence in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between Chicago and the Boston Bruins, Amonte called Hossa's injury into question.

Amonte, who is doing analyst work for Comcast SportsNet New England, made the following statement Monday:

Marian Hossa ... I admire the way he plays, he's a very good player, he's got a Stanley Cup on his résumé, but he's not the guy with the highest pain threshold in the NHL. If you look back to his stats and you look throughout his career, he usually plays about 60 games, takes about 20 or 30 off every year just to make sure he's fresh coming into the postseason. He's not a guy that will play through a lot of injuries."

Amonte expounded on Hossa Tuesday on the "Mut and Merloni Show" on Boston's WEEI-FM, saying the following to Mike Mutnanski and Lou Merloni:

You're in the Stanley Cup finals. I think you play until you can't play anymore. You give whatever you can to your organization and that's the way most guys will do it. That's what [Bruins forward] Nathan Horton's doing right now. He's probably got no right being out on the ice with that shoulder the way it is, but he's going to gut it out, play the next possibly four games at the most and then go in, get his shoulder fixed and be ready for the next season.

The above quote comes from ESPNChicago.com's report on Hossa's injury. In another report Tuesday, Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com wrote that Hossa is likely to play in Game 4 Wednesday.

Harry How/Getty Images
Hossa played 40 of Chicago's 48 games this season.

Joel Quenneville told Powers that Hossa is suffering from an upper-body injury. Amonte claimed to Mutnanski and Lou Merloni he heard it was a groin injury.

Amonte weighed in on the 'Hawks performance and made some valid points on Chicago's game. He was pretty even-handed with his thoughts on the Blackhawks and their performance in the series. It is odd that he went off on Hossa the way he did.

Amonte claims that the usual Hossa season is 60 games. Hossa has played 15 seasons in the NHL. In seven of those seasons, he's played over 80 games. In three others, Hossa has logged at least 72 games. Hossa played seven games as a call-up late in the the 1997-98 season, so let's focus on the 14 full seasons he has played.

There are three seasons that have any resemblance to Amonte's claim to a "normal" Hossa campaign:

1998-99: 60 games in his rookie season.

2009-10: 57 games in his first season with the 'Hawks. Remember, he missed the first couple of months recovering from shoulder surgery. He certainly wasn't coasting for the playoffs.

2010-11: 65 games in a season when he was out with a couple of injuries. Again, most of those injuries came in the first half of the season

Three seasons out of 14. That is far from a frequent occurrence.

Amonte is a former player and I defer to him as far as his wealth of hockey knowledge. If he wants to question Hossa's toughness, that's his business. However, his claim that Hossa sits out 20-30 games a year has no basis in fact.

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