Pascal Dupuis forced to end NHL career due to medical condition

Pascal Dupuis forced to end NHL career due to medical condition

Pascal Dupuis will no longer play hockey the Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Tuesday. The 36-year old forward’s career looks to be over due to a medical condition related to blood clots.

“Despite playing on a medical protocol that has worked for other players in the NHL, we feel that the risk of Pascal playing with his condition and the side effects of the tests to monitor him are just not in the best interest of his long-term health,” said Penguins’ team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas.

Injury and the discovery of blood clots limited Dupuis to 55 games over the past two seasons. He only played 18 games this season for the Penguins and has been affected by several “medical incidents” believed to be related to his condition.

“It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game,” Dupuis said. “My wife and four children have always been my first priority, and playing with my condition has become a constant worry for all of us. I want to thank my teammates and the Penguins organization for their unwavering support during this difficult time.”

Dupuis still has two years and $7 million owed to him, which is why this is not labeled a “retirement.” The Penguins will eventually transfer him from the injured reserve list to long-term injury reserve.

In his first article for The Players’ Tribune in February following the diagnosis of a blood clot, Dupuis wrote of his determination to return to the NHL.

“I’m 35. I know I don’t have much time left. But I’m getting out of that press box prison. I don’t care if it takes six months or a year or two years. I will get healthy.”

Dupuis followed that up with a second dispatch in August after he was cleared to resume playing hockey. In it, he detailed how his life changed due to his condition and that through all of it his focus was still on one goal: to win another Stanley Cup now that his kids are old enough to appreciate the sacrifices he made.

After spending time with the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers, Dupuis was considered a throw-in as part of the deal that sent Marian Hossa to Pittsburgh in 2008. He would score 92 goals over the following five seasons with the Penguins as an integral part of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin’s supporting cast.

Dupuis played 871 games in the NHL, scoring 190 goals and winning a Cup in 2009. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted.

From pranking Crosby at the team hotel to his NSFW greeting to Malkin on 24/7 to his memorable walk-off interview sign offs with ROOT Sports' Dan Potash, Dupuis will certainly be missed.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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