Could Severe Equipment Skin Allergy Force Chicago Blackhawks Star Marian Hossa To Retire?

A story has broke from the NHL that involves the future of Chicago Blackhawks forward, Marian Hossa, and it may signal the end of a Hall-of-Fame career. At least, it has been revealed that a severe allergy to his equipment will cost Hossa the 2017-2018 season, while the team and his doctors look for an answer that could help prolong his career after next season.

Before we found out about this skin condition, Hossa was not expected to retire before his contract expired at the end of the 2020-2021 season. Unfortunately, the decision may now be taken out oh his hands. Here are statements from Hossa, the Blackhawks and the medical team regarding the future of the 38-year-old winger, thanks to NHL.com:

Statement from Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa:

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.

Statement from Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman:

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.

Statement from Chicago Blackhawks Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry:

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.

 

About the author

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.