Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Marian Hossa to Miss Entire 2017-18 Season For Blackhawks

By Randy Holndoner (@bhawkschatter)

This deals a huge blow to the Blackhawks with worries of Trevor van Riemsdyk and Marcus Kruger, both being possibly sent to the Vegas Golden Knights, within the next couple of days.

From the Blackhawks website, Hossa gave a statement:

"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."

General Manager and Senior Vice President, Stan Bowman, had this to say:

"The Chicago Blackhawks are in full support of Marian Hossa as he addresses his medical issues. 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."

Team Physician, Dr. Michael Terry, who has worked with Hossa with this disorder stated this:

"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."

After the Blackhawks were eliminated by the Nashville Predators, Hossa had mentioned in a Slovokia publication that he looked forward to beginning his offseason training.

The only positive news that can come from this is that the Blackhakws can place Hossa on Long-Term Injured Reserve (LITR), for the entire season and not have his $5.275 cap hit effect the teams salary cap problems.  If Hossa retires, the Blackhawks will be hit with a $3.675 cap capture penalty through the 2020-21 season due to Hossa still having four years remaining on his 12-year, $63.3 million contract.

This would be a horrible way for one of the best and most respected players in the league to leave the game, if he cannot return from this.  Hossa had a bounce back season last year scoring 26 goals, with 19 assists, in 73 games last year.

For his career, Hossa has put up Hall of Fame numbers with 1134 points (525 goals, 609 assists), in 1309 career NHL games, to this point.  He was part of Blackhawks' 2010, '13, and '15 Stanley Cup wins, while appearing in 2 others (Detroit, '09, Pittsburgh, '08).

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