It is very unfortunate news to report that Blackhawks winger and future Hall of Famer Marian Hossa will not be playing this next coming season. This is due to what is being called a “progressive skin disorder” by team doctor Michael Terry. This skin condition seems to be worsening and the medication Hossa was taking was not working anymore and has brought some side effects. It is to the point where his health is in serious risk if he plays while not getting this issue treated properly.
“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.” -Marian Hossa
The 38-year old winger had been going through treatment for this condition for the past few years and things have been turning for the worst. Hossa has scored 186 of his 525 career goals in a Blackhawks sweater and has won three cups in Chicago since signing a 12-year deal in July of 2009. Last year he had a very nice season with 26 goals and 19 assists which showed he still has more in the tank.
Unfortunately these circumstances that have been kept pretty quiet for years have been made clear and Hossa won’t be able to play. If the Blackhawks do in fact place him on the LTIR (long-term injured reserve list) in October, his owed $5.275 million cap hit for the 17-18 season will be taken off. Will he play after that? Not sure, but his main focus is getting better and helping his condition this year. If he were to retire, there would be an automatic $3.675 million cap hit through 2021 which is when his contract expires.
Either way there will no 81 on the ice this coming season and there is a big void that needs to be filled. It is really hard to fill seeing as Hossa is a generational talent, but more scoring will likely have to be acquired if the Hawks want to contend this season.
Talks on twitter seem to want the Hawks to sign TJ Oshie, which could be pretty cool to see him playing with Toews but right now that is a hopeful idea. Going to be hard to tell what happens right now.
The most ridiculous thing about all this is various reactions from hockey fans and even verified journalists. There are apparently conspiracy theories swarming the hockey world saying that Hossa agreed to this so they can clear cap space for the upcoming season. To say the Blackhawks want their locked-in Hall of Fame player to do this kind of thing is ridiculous and honestly and insult to his situation.
There is zero evidence of that kind of a plan happening and the team doctor clearly has presented the issue Hossa has had with his skin’s reaction to various equipment which was causing the issue.
It is also interesting to note that Hossa is not the first NHL player to have this kind of problem. Ex-NHLer Tom Reid who played with the Blackhawks and North Stars had a skin condition that worsened to the point where he could no longer play.
It is really unfortunate to see happen and the best is wished for Marian Hossa.