Marian Hossa felt conflicted after scoring his second goal in the series clincher against the Wild. He ultimately decided to forgo a third goal due to an unusual phobia of hats. Aside from the cap he dons in post-game interviews, Hossa has a deep rooted fear of multiple hats in one place.
“It’s an odd case,” said Hossa’s physician Hubert Latro. “Throughout counseling he would wear a hat without issue. As soon as I threw a stack of hats onto the table he would shrivel up and shout ‘bad hats, bad hats!’ and nearly faint.”
Hossa himself isn’t entirely certain where the fear stems from, but thinks he might have it narrowed down to a childhood incident.
“Once, when I was nine years old,” Hossa explained, “I missed a goal-scoring opportunity point blank. In Slovakia, it was customary at that time, to throw hats onto the ice and boo a player who missed a great chance at a goal. As a child this traumatized me.”
By the time Hossa turned professional he had all but forgot about the childhood incident. He would go on to score multiple hat tricks in the NHL, each time being showered by hats without issue. It wasn’t until his last three goal output when the fear kicked in.
“I was almost driven to tears,” Hossa said. “Ever since then, when I would hit two goals in a game, I start to hear boos in my head, and imagine thousands of hats falling on me. I nearly had Bollig body check a fan the other day who asked me if I could sign a bunch of his hats.”