Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 2010, 22

Marian Hossa poses for a photo with the Stanley Cup and a couple of young fans. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

We've been told the benefits of persistence all of our lives, but Marian Hossa's career embodies this statement. In his tenth NHL season, Marian was picked up from the Atlanta Thrashers by the Pittsburgh Penguins as they drove towards the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins went all the way to the final in 2007-08, but were defeated in six games by the Detroit Red Wings. The next season, Hossa was signed by Detroit, and faced his old club in the 2009 Stanley Cup final, but this time, Pittsburgh edged Detroit in seven games for the Stanley Cup.

Signed to a long-term deal with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10, for an unprecedented third season, Marian went to the Stanley Cup final with his third different team. This time, the result was different, as Hossa's Hawks collected the NHL's big prize.

Marian Hossa enjoying some perogies
out of the bowl of the Stanley Cup.
(Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Marian Hossa was born in Stara Lubovna, Czechoslovakia, although since the country's split, it is now located in north-eastern Slovakia. While Marian's NHL resume is outstanding (10 seasons scoring 20+ goals, including three seasons scoring 40 or more), his international career has been equally stellar, representing Slovakia at three Olympic tournaments, seven World Championships and two World Junior championships.

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Marian Hossa was married in Trencin, Slovakia on July 17, just a couple of weeks before the Stanley Cup's arrival. The reception featured a number of hockey personalities, including Tomas and Mary Kopecky, Zdeno and Tatiana Chara, Pavol and Majko Demitra, Martin Havlat and his girlfriend, Marian Gaborik and his girlfriend and Miroslav and Ingrid Satan. Marian and his bride Janka enjoyed a sensational honeymoon in the Maldives, a gorgeous grouping of some 1,190 coral islands located in the Indian Ocean, arriving back in Slovakia just in time to celebrate another special occasion.

The Stanley Cup looks on during a road hockey game ogranized by Marian Hossa and his friends.
(Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
The Stanley Cup flew to Europe, arriving in Bratislava after a stop in Vienna, on Thursday, August 5. Following a press conference at the city's Hotel Carlton featuring both Hossa and teammate Kopecky, the Cup was taken to Trencianska Turna, the hometown of Janka Hossa and her family.

Trencianska Turna is a village of fewer than 3,000 residents located in north-western Slovakia. After photographs and celebrations there, the Hossas took the Cup to nearby Trencin, where the Hossa family lives. There, a terrific party got underway, serving wonderful Slovakian dishes as close friends and family celebrated with the NHL veteran. Marian owns a pirohy factory (in North America, the dish is better known as 'perogy') in Slovakia, so the celebration wouldn't be complete without Hossa devouring this wonderful meal out of the Stanley Cup. Later on, as the party continued, Hossa was thrown into the pool, but laughed the entire time.

Marian Hossa brought the Stanley Cup to home of the Dukla Trencin club team. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
Although Friday, August 6 produced rain in Trencin, it didn't put a damper on Marian's fun. He decided to stage a road hockey game with friends. "I organized a little game like we used to," he smiled. "Everybody had a job, but they told their work they weren't coming for the day. It was really raining but everybody wanted to play. We had a great time!"

Having worked up an appetite, Hossa and his friends went for lunch at Retro, a restaurant owned by a friend. Marian's friend has a hockey room, decorated with the pictures of a number of NHL legends, including a large photo of Marian (wearing a Thrashers' jersey — that'll have to be replaced). "It's kind of a cool room," Hossa said.

Marian Hossa and the Stanley Cup taking part in a civic reception at Mierove Square in Trencin. (Walt Neubrand/Hockey Hall of Fame)
After lunch, Hossa took the Cup around Trencin for panoramic photos. One of the best locations was the historic Trencin castle, parts of which date back to the 11th century! He also visited his former high school.

Mid-afternoon, Marian took the Stanley Cup to Nova Dubnica, where he and Tomas Kopecky met with the mayor. Kopecky took the Stanley Cup for the remainder of August 6, but Hossa met up with him again the next day, partaking in a civic reception at Mierove Square in Trencin. The historic square, recently refurbished, hosted the celebration, which was broadcast live on state television.

The boys then took the Stanley Cup back to Trencin Castle, where a reception was held for the two Stanley Cup champions and their families.

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The Stanley Cup Journal heads into France on Friday for Cristobel Huet's day with la Coupe Stanley. C'est magnifique!

Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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