Chicago Blackhawks veteran Marian Hossa is a role model in the locker room, where younger teammates revere him. Chris Hatcher Jersey .It means Im older, Hossa said. Im just glad I can still play.His consistency at both ends of the ice helps make the Blackhawks perennial Stanley Cup contenders. The 35-year-old Hossa passed the 1,100-game mark this season. On a team led by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Hossa is one of the NHLs best defensive forwards.He just flies on the backcheck. Theres a lot of guys that skate a lot faster going forward than they do coming back to their own end, and hes not that way, Kane said. Hes so good at stripping the puck. Hes also good in these one-on-one battles where more often than not youre going to see him coming away with the puck.He doesnt seem to get any older, either. He seems to get better and better each year.This is Hossas 16th full NHL season and he remains a key cog for the Blackhawks, who have won the Cup twice in the past five years and visit the Washington Capitals on Thursday in the Winter Classic. Hossa is averaging 0.64 points a game, the lowest since his rookie year with the Ottawa Senators, but his two-way game is responsible for preventing more than a few goals against.Teammates past and present marvel at what Hossa can do in the defensive zone and without the puck.Hes got that powerful stride that gets him back in the play easily, said former Blackhawks forward Jeremy Morin, whos now with the Columbus Blue Jackets. And he can take the puck off your stick with ease. Hes so strong on the stick and its always in the right position. He can steal pucks with the best in the league, for sure.That, Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad said, is how Hossa turns defence into offence. In 1,127 games, Hossa has 472 goals and 547 assists.Hossa is 76th on the all-time points list, ahead of Hockey Hall of Famers Pat LaFontaine, Lanny McDonald and Maurice Richard. Hes 52nd in goals, ahead of LaFontaine, Doug Gilmour and Pavel Bure, and third among active players.His career numbers are similar to former Senators teammate Daniel Alfredsson, who retired earlier this month after putting up 426 goals and 682 assists in 1,178 games. But Hossa may be one of the most underrated players in the NHL.Maybe I would have more numbers but maybe some other teams wouldnt want me, Hossa said. Theres an advantage and disadvantage with that. Obviously, Im happy how the outcome played out.Hossa has two Stanley Cup rings and appeared in the final two other times. A five-time all-star, the Slovak winger with four Olympic appearances has a case for the Hall of Fame, even if its not easy to quantify.I know (from) being around him and still dominating like he does, I think its his 17th year, hes always been a great player, Saad said. Theres so many little things the guy does, its incredible.Hossa still has six seasons left on his contract at a cap hit of $5.2 million, so he likely has plenty of time before the Hall of Fame question even comes up.Hossa has been fortunate to avoid injuries throughout most of his career. The fewest games he played in a full season was 57 in 2009-10.Hossa gets some practices off because of his age and experience, but that doesnt seem to detract from his play. Coach Joel Quenneville calls him a great pro and a player who reinforces what the staff wants out of the team.Defensively and offensively, hes got a great thought process, Quenneville said. Game in, game out, you use him in all situations. Hes a very useful player.Before joining Chicago, Hossa was more than just a useful player for the Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.We definitely know how special of a player he is, whether he gets the recognition or not, Saad said. Its pretty surreal to see a guy like that still playing and still doing as well as hes doing. Jed Lowrie Jersey . The young man, never lacking confidence, thought he could be really good. Dennis Eckersley Jersey . - The Baltimore Ravens have hired Steve Spagnuolo to be their secondary coach and assistant head coach. http://www.athleticsrookiestore.com/Customized/ . New York City FC introduced Frank Lampard in Brooklyn on Thursday after signing the 36-year-old former Chelsea midfielder to a two-year contract.The Texas Rangers hired Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as their new manager.Banister got the nod over two other finalists, interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash.General manager Jon Daniels said Thursday night that Banister won over the Rangers during the interview process. Daniels described Banister as the best fit for a team that quickly wants to recreate a winning culture after its most losses since 1985.Jeff really impressed us across the board, Daniels said. From people that he works with now with the Pirates, the people that used to work there, and players that hes had recently and some years back, stars as well as role players, and everyone came back with the desire to win, a love for the game, the love for people, the ability to reach people, the ability to connect with a variety of people, an interest in learning more.Banister will be formally introduced as Ron Washingtons replacement during a news conference Friday at the Rangers ballpark.The 50-year-old Banister has been Pittsburghs bench coach for manager Clint Hurdle the past four years and in the Pirates organization for 29 seasons. Hurdle was the Rangers hitting coach when they went to their first World Series in 2010.The entire Pirates organization is extremely proud of Jeff and happy for him and his family. We believe it will be an excellent fit for him and the Texas Rangers, Hurdle said in a statement. He has been an instrumental reason for the success the Pirates organization has had over the course of his tenure with the ballclub.Pirates GM Neal Huntington thanked Banister for his long-standing impact and dedication. His leadership, character, work ethic, knowledge of the game, energy and passion made us better every day he was a Pirate.Bogar was the perceived front-runner after leading the Rangers to a 14-8 record to end the regular season following Washingtons sudden resignation Sept. 5 for personal reasons. Bogar was in his first season as Rangers bench coach. He still has a year left on his contract.Daniels said Bogar was understandably disappointed about not getting the job.The GM said he would be comfortable with Bogar remaining if everybody felt good about the situation, but said the next step would be for Banister to reach out to the staff. That includes pitching coach Mike Maddux, who was one of the other internal candidates interviewed for the job.As for anyone joining Bannister from the Pirates, Daniiels said that seemed unlikely. Dave Henderson Jersey. Daniels joined Texas in 2002 and became GM after the 2005 season. A year later, he made his first managerial move, replacing the fired Buck Showalter with Washington and going through the most successful stretch in team history.Like Banister, Washington was an unexpected finalist, a baseball lifer who won over Daniels and the Rangers during interviews.After back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 11, the Rangers finished 67-95 this season — their most losses since 1985. They were plagued by injuries, playing most of the season without new slugger Prince Fielder and finishing the year without Yu Darvish and Shin-Soo Choo, among many others.It was the first time in five seasons that the Rangers played only 162 games. After consecutive American League pennants, they played in the AL wild-card game in 2012 and a wild-card tiebreaker in 2013.Until Washington unexpectedly resigned, the plan was for him to return in 2015 for his ninth season as Rangers manager.Texas interviewed eight candidates in their search that Daniels said started without about 40 names.Maddux and Triple-A manager Steve Buechele sat down with team officials after the season ended. Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo, Chicago White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing and former major leaguer Alex Cora, an executive in the Puerto Rico winter league, also interviewed before the three finalists were announced this week.Banister, who was born in Oklahoma but went to high school, junior college and college in Texas, was drafted in the 25th round by the Pirates in 1986. The catcher played only one game in the major leagues, getting a pinch-hit single in his only at-bat on July 23, 1991.Banister, a 1982 graduate of LaMarque High in Texas, overcame bone cancer and a bone/bone marrow infection to play baseball. While at Baytown Junior College in Texas, he was left temporarily paralyzed from the neck down after his vertebrae was crushed in a home-plate collision.Hes a winner, hes a survivor, in every sense of the word, Daniels said.His coaching career began as a player-coach with Double-A Carolina in 1993, and his first managerial job was in the New York-Penn League in 1994. He had a 299-330 record in five seasons as a minor league manager, before serving as field co-ordinator at the big league level for the Pirates from 1999-2002 and then as the clubs minor league field co-ordinator for eight years after that. 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