Hossa, who turned 35 earlier this season and has had various injuries the past few seasons, has earned Quenneville’s trust to be given additional rest whenever he asks for it. As long as Hossa is fine to play in games, Quenneville is fine with Hossa resting.
Over the last week, Hossa has felt he’s needed some additional rest. He has missed two morning skates and a practice during the current road trip. But he hasn’t missed a game and has continued to play his usual minutes. He had an assist and a plus-one rating in the Blackhawks’ 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
Quenneville has described the days when Hossa hasn’t skated as maintenance days, and Hossa wouldn’t go beyond that when asked Monday if anything physically was bothering him. Hossa did explain the benefits of the additional rest.
“It is huge when you can have some days extra off, and just maybe not going out on the ice and working on something different here in the dressing room or in the gym," Hossa said. “As long as you feel good on the ice, that’s the important thing.”
Quenneville’s attitude is the same.
“I know your body usually tells you if you need a day off, have a day off,” Quenneville said. “With the experience and time of the season and guys who have played as long as he has, so we’ll let him tell us. He has that privilege.
“I know we’ve had some days off, as well, but game-day skates is a time when most all, everybody is out there -- but if he feels he doesn’t need it, be ready for the games. We know he’s going to be ready.”
Quenneville also said he isn’t concerned about Hossa playing for Slovakia during the Olympics and not taking those two weeks off.
“No, I think he’s fine,” Quenneville said. “I don’t think it’s an issue at all.”
Hossa is coming off a month when he played some of his best hockey. He had nine goals, three assists and a plus-four rating in January. He has begun February with an assist in each of the first two games. He has 23 goals, 25 assists and a plus-24 rating in 53 games this season. He also leads the league with 61 takeaways.