Following the bombshell late Tuesday night that Marian Hossa’s NHL career could be over, the Chicago Blackhawks have confirmed that the longtime winger will miss the 2017-18 season due to a skin disorder that causes an allergic reaction while wearing hockey equipment.
This has apparently been an issue for a long time, but it’s become more difficult to treat over the years given the medications required. The Athletic reports that it became progressively worse each year, and that last season was “very bad.”
In a statement released through the Blackhawks on Wednesday morning, Hossa said he needed to consider “how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.”
Here’s the full statement from Hossa:
Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder. Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.
The Chicago Blackhawks organization, including Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman, and my agent, Ritch Winter, have been very supportive throughout this entire process. I would also like to thank my teammates and the amazing Blackhawks fans for their understanding. With respect to the privacy of my family, I will not be commenting any further on my health.
If Hossa retired now, there would be a $3.675 million cap penalty on the Hawks’ books through 2021 due to cap recapture.
There’s no word of Hossa retiring, however, and the language saying that he’ll sit out the season indicates the Blackhawks will place him on long-term injured reserve. That would give the team an exception to go over the salary cap upper limit, which is set at $75 million for next season.
Here’s more on the situation from Hawks team doctor Michael Terry:
Marian has been dealing with the effects of a progressive skin disorder that is becoming more and more difficult to treat and control with conventional medications while he plays hockey. Because of the dramatic nature of the medications required and their decreasing effectiveness, we strongly support his decision not to play during the 2017-18 season. We feel in the most certain terms this is the appropriate approach for Marian in order to keep him functional and healthy in the short term and throughout his life.
Hossa’s life away from the ice is far too important to have him suffering through challenging treatments just to keep playing hockey. Let’s hope that, if this is the end, he can at least get his skin condition under control and keep living his best life, one full of joy and pierogi.