The Chicago Blackhawks and Marian Hossa announced Wednesday that he will not be playing the 2017-18 season due to a skin disorder. Hossa has been undergoing treatment for the skin disorder for the last few years, as well as the side effects of the medication he needs to treat it.
“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,” Marian Hossa said Wednesday morning. “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.”
Hossa will turn 38 in January, and was hopeful after the Blackhawks’ season he would be returning for another year. Marian has four years remaining on his 12-year, $63.3 million contract. If Hossa retired now, the Blackhawks would face a cap recapture penalty of $3.675 million per season through the 2020-21 season. Hossa can be placed on long-term injured reserve, which would allow the Blackhawks to utilize his cap hit if they go over the cap ceiling. The cap ceiling is $75 million for next season. Since joining the Blackhawks in 2009, Marian Hossa has 186 goals and 229 assists in helping the team to three Stanley Cups.
Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman also released a statement:
“The Chicago Blackhawks are in full support of Marian Hossa as he addresses his medical issues,” Bowman’s statement read. “This is extremely difficult for us because we all know the incredible person and player that Marian Hossa is — competitive, loyal and humble. He has played a major role in the success our franchise has experienced in recent years, which makes his departure from our lineup a significant loss. His teammates and coaches know he battled through some very tough physical difficulties but never complained or missed games despite the challenges he faced. The organization will continue to provide him every resource he needs to maintain his health.”
Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry released a statement agreeing it was best for Hossa to sit out the season:
“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,” Terry said in a statement. “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.”
Marian Hossa, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Hawks, has 525 goals and 609 assists in 1,309 career games, and is one of the best two-way players in the game. It was a shock when I heard the news. He will be missed. I wish Marian Hossa nothing but the best.