Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa will not play in the 2017-18 season because of side effects from medication to treat a skin disorder. There is also a “legitimate possibility” the future Hall of Famer has played his final game because of serious allergic reactions stemming from the equipment he wears, according to Sportsnet.
"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.
"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."
Unidentified sources told Sportsnet the medication necessary to combat Hossa's allergy is potent enough that doctors want to test his blood every few weeks to make sure there were no major side effects.
"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," Blackhawks physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement. "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."
Hossa, 38, is under contract with the Blackhawks until the 2020-21 season but if he were to retire now, Chicago would lose $3.675 million off their cap number until 2020 due to "cap recapture" penalties.
In 19 seasons with the Blackhawks, Senators, Thrashers, Penguins and Red Wings, Hossa has scored 525 goals, registered 609 assists and helped Chicago win three Stanley Cups.