SAN JOSE, Calif. – By the time the Blackhawks return home from this road trip, Marian Hossa might have more goals than Martin Havlat.
Hossa is set to make his Hawks debut Wednesday night against the Sharks playing right wing on a line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
The Hossa-Havlat comparisons don’t matter much anymore, not with Havlat owning just 2 goals in 19 games with Minnesota. The Hawks signed the right free agent, choosing Hossa over Havlat, and their decision is being proved right.
Word out of Minnesota is Havlat is not competing on every shift, which is what he did do last season with the Hawks with a new contract at stake and great linemates in Dave Bolland and Andrew Ladd doing the dirty work.
But enough about Havlat – he’s Minny’s worry now.
Kane will shift to left wing to make room for Hossa on that line since Hossa prefers the right side.
"He's obviously been in the league a lot longer than I have and he's done some special things over there," Kane said. "Hopefully we're moving around in the offensive zone pretty good and we won't have to worry about sides, but it's something I'll probably have to get comfortable with.
"I should just be happy to be on his line no matter where I'm playing.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has used Kane on the left side before and doesn't see it as a big deal.
"It's a situation where Marian hasn't played in a while and he likes the right side," Quenneville said. "When they're just playing hockey, their instincts will take over anyway. We'll see how it plays itself out."
Hossa's first game comes almost four months to the day he underwent shoulder surgery (July 24) to repair a damaged rotator cuff.
"It's been four months and I feel good on the ice and ready to go," Hossa said. "It's a new team and I haven't played a game yet with these guys so I'll try to blend right in, keep it simple and just use my instincts the first couple games."