Marian Hossa’s Hall of Fame-caliber career might be over, reportedly because he’s allergic to the equipment he wears to play hockey.
The Chicago Blackhawks winger announced Wednesday that he will miss the 2017-18 season because of a “progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved” to treat it. This comes one day after Sportsnet cited several sources in reporting Hossa has a “serious allergic reaction” to his hockey gear.
Hossa issued the following statement through the Blackhawks:
“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.”
While Hossa didn’t mention retirement in his statement, his condition appears serious, if the details of the Sportsnet report are correct. Sportnet’s sources said Hossa’s medication is so strong that doctors are worried about him taking it for lengthy periods. In fact, Sportsnet wrote, “doctors wanted his blood tested every few weeks to make sure there were no major side effects.”
If this indeed is it for Hossa, the 38-year-old ends his NHL career with 525 goals and 609 assists in 19 seasons for the Blackhawks (with whom he won three Stanley Cups), Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. He signed a 12-year, $63.3 million contract in 2009, and the back-loaded deal could mean trouble for Chicago, which might face salary-cap ramifications should Hossa retire.
For now, though, that’s the least of the Blackhawks’ concern.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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