Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will miss the entire 2017-18 NHL season—and possibly may have to hang up his skates for good—because of a “progressive skin disorder” and side effects experienced through treatment.
“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 a statement Wednesday morning. “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 statement comes on the heels of a report by Sportsnet.ca that Hossa may ultimately have to end his career due to the condition, which is said to be an allergic reaction to the equipment he wears while playing hockey.
“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 Stan Bowman, general manager of the Blackhawks, in a statement. “The organization will continue to provide him every resource he needs to maintain his health.”
Dr. Michael Terry, the Blackhawks’ team physician, called Hossa’s decision to sit out next season an appropriate move to “keep him functional and healthy in the short term and throughout his life.”