Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa was enjoying an overdue offseason full of rest, relaxation and additional training. He definitely needed it after playing in three consecutive Stanley Cup finals.

There were good things on the horizon, too. He and his wife, Jana, eagerly awaited the birth of their first child, and he felt healthy and in amazing shape as Hawks training camp approached.

Then a tragedy that will continue to affect the hockey world for some time hit close to home.

On Sept. 7, Hossa's good friend and former NHL player Pavol Demitra died in a plane crash that claimed the lives of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.