Late last night, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped a bomb when he wrote about the possibility of Marian Hossa’s career being over.
Earlier this morning, the Chicago Blackhawks provided an update on the veteran winger’s condition. According to the team, Hossa will miss the entire 2017-18 season because of a skin disorder.
“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 release. “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.”
Update: As far as the salary cap implications go, the NHL still needs to rule on that. Such a decision may not come until right before free agency swings into gear.
It’s hard to imagine Hossa making an NHL comeback if he’s going to miss a full season at 38 years old, so it’s entirely possible that we never see him on the ice again.
“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,” said team physician Dr. Michael Terry. “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.”
Of course, it’s unlikely Hossa will officially retire from the NHL because it would mean that Chicago would face cap recapture penalties.
Since signing a 12-year deal in 2009-10, the veteran’s cap hit has been $5.275 million, but he’d been earning $7.9 million per year. Last season, his salary dropped to $4 million. Starting this year, it was going to drop to $1 million.
So to compensate for all those years of him earning $7.9 million, but only being on the books for $5.275 million, the ‘Hawks would have had to face a cap penalty of $3.675 million (had he retired) until 2020-21.
If this is it for Hossa, he’ll finish his career with 525 goals and 1134 points in 1309 games with Ottawa, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago.