Chicago Blackhawks veteran Marian Hossa will not play during the 2017-18 NHL season due to a skin condition he suffers from and the side effects of the medication he takes to treat it.
The skin condition is reportedly being caused by an allergic reaction to his hockey equipment.
“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,” Hossa said in a statement.
“Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season.” Hossa continued, “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 decision was supported by Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry, who gave a statement of his own.
“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,” Terry said. “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.”
While the 38-year-old still has four years remaining on his contract with the Blackhawks, between the severity of the condition and necessity of its treatment, it’s possible that Hossa has laced up his skates for the final time.
Drafted in 1997, Hossa has already put in a career performance worthy of the Hall of Fame. Between 2008-10 he played in three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals with three separate teams, finally winning the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, and winning it two more times with Chicago after that.
Hossa has amassed 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points over the course of his career, and has spent time playing in Ottawa, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago.
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