(CBS) Marian Hossa’s mysterious late scratch minutes before the Blackhawks’ loss in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final isn’t sitting well with one former NHL player – and that’s Tony Amonte, who played for the Blackhawks from 1994 until 2002.
Amonte criticized Hossa for sitting out with what he thought was a groin injury, even going so far as to question Hossa’s toughness.
“That’s just not good enough,” Amonte said. “You’re in the Stanley Cup Final. You play until you can’t play anymore. You give whatever you can to your organization. That’s what most guys do.
“I admire the way he plays. He’s a very good player – he’s got a Stanley Cup on his resume. (But) he’s not the guy with the highest pain threshold in the NHL. If you look back to his stats and throughout his career, he usually plays about 60 games and takes about 20 or 30 off every year, just to make sure he’s fresh for the postseason. So he’s not a guy that will play through a lot of injuries.
Hossa, who is expected to play in Game 4, was replaced by Ben Smith just minutes before puck drop. The 24-year-old didn’t even have a chance to warm up.
“What’s shocking is how he did it,” Amonte said. “From what I hear, he walked into the coaches’ room before the game and said, ‘I can’t go.’ I don’t think the coaches had any clue. I don’t think the trainers had talked about it with the coaches, like it was just a surprise for everybody. Then they gotta throw the kid Ben Smith out there in his place in probably the most important game of the season. You just don’t see guys do those types of things in the NHL.”