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Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa to miss next season due to skin disorder

By The Sports Xchange
Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Minnesota Wild. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Minnesota Wild. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will not play next season because of a what he announced Wednesday as a "progressive skin disorder."

Hossa, 38, said he has been undergoing treatment under the supervision of the Blackhawks' medical staff. Sportsnet.ca in Canada reported Hossa's career could be over because of a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment.

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Hossa said the side effects of the medications made it impossible for him to play in what would have been his 20th NHL season in 2017-18.

"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 his Wednesday morning statement. "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."

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Hossa owns 1,134 points (525 goals, 609 assists) in 1,309 career NHL games with the Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. He ranks 34th on the NHL all-time goal-scoring list, 80th on the assists list and 54th on the points list, and 60th in games played.

Hossa won the Stanley Cup three times with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 and 2015, and has 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 career Stanley Cup playoff games.

"This is extremely difficult for us," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement, "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."

Hossa signed a 12-year contract before the 2009-10 season worth about $63.3-million and has four years remaining on the deal. He is scheduled to be paid $1 million during each of the next four seasons, meaning the bulk his contract is already paid.

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Hossa, a first-round pick of Ottawa in 1997, is coming off a season in which he recorded 45 points (26 goals, 19 assists).

"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," the Blackhawks' team physician, Dr. Michael Terry, said. "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."

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