It's that time of year again.

Hockey is back in Hockeytown, and it's a welcoming sight after the Red Wings' 2014-15 season was cut short.

But one of the most exciting things that happened Wednesday night when the Wings hosted the Blackhawks had nothing to do with the game, and everything to do with one of the game's legends.

More from FoxSports

Mr. Hockey himself was in the building, and addressed the Wings in the team's dressing room prior to Detroit's 4-1 victory over Chicago.

"It's incredible, it's awesome to see him," said head caoch Jeff Blashill. "It was great to see him tonight.

"One thing I think this team understands is the history within this room and certainly Gordie Howe and his presence, when you're somebody like that you just have a presence."

Howe then retired to the owner's suite to watch the preseason game.

It was an incredible feat for Howe, who suffered a severe stroke on Oct. 26, 2014. His health improved considerably after two stem cell treatments at a clinic in Mexico.

Wednesday marked Howe's first visit to Joe Louis Arena since his 85th birthday, and the Wings didn't disappoint.

Detroit defeated Chicago 4-1 in its second preseason game behind goals from Tomas Tatar and Justin Abdelkader.

Tatar recorded a hat trick, prompting hats to trickle onto the ice late in the contest.

"Every season after the one before you try to change yourself to be better so I mean at the end I want to be one of the guys like Hank and Pav," Tatar said. "I would like to be a leader. They're great hockey players, they're great examples for us young guys."

Abdelkader scored a breakaway goal in the second period.

The Red Wings will host Pittsburgh in their third preseason game Thursday at 7:30 p.m.