We could soon see a sad, strange end to a Hall of Fame career.
The Blackhawks announced on Wednesday that winger Marian Hossa will miss the entire 2017-18 season due to a progressive skin disorder.
”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,” Hossa said in a statement.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first reported the news Tuesday night, stating there’s a possibility Hossa “has played his final game” due to a serious allergic reaction caused by his equipment.
”His teammates and coaches know he battled through some very tough physical difficulties but never complained or missed games despite the challenges he faced,” said GM Stan Bowman.
Hossa’s been taking medication to counter the allergy, but there’s concern about the dangers with continuing on with that process.
The sources who confirmed the allergy stressed not to make fun of it, with one saying, “It’s only funny to anyone who’s never had it.” Details are sketchy, because no one would give full information, but the medication necessary to combat the allergy is potent enough that doctors wanted his blood tested every few weeks to make sure there were no major side effects.
It’s an awful situation, and unfortunately one that will surely spark controversy.
Friedman notes that if Hossa were to officially retire, the Blackhawks would be levied cap recapture penalties on the heavily front-loaded contract they brokered with the veteran forward in 2009. This, of course, would be devastating for a franchise constantly at odds with the NHL’s salary parameters.
But if Hossa were to agree to be placed on long-term injury reserve each season until that deal expires, his cost wouldn’t count against the salary cap and the transaction would in turn alleviate the unrelenting financial pressure on management.
Hossa doubled his goal total from the previous season last year, scoring 26 times in 73 games. But despite the surge, his dominant two-way, possession-driving game saw a dip.
It will be fascinating to see how this situation plays out.