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Former Canuck Gino Odjick says he's been diagnosed with rare terminal illness

Thursday, 06.26.2014 / 11:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Former Canuck Gino Odjick says he's been diagnosed with rare terminal illness

VANCOUVER - Former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Gino Odjick says he has a rare terminal illness.

Odjick, in a letter published Thursday on the Canucks' website, said he was diagnosed with AL (Primary) Amyloidosis two months ago.

"It's causing abnormal protein to be produced and deposits are being formed on my heart," said Odjick. "It's hardening my heart and my doctors aren't sure how long I have to live.

"Initially they thought years, but now they think it could be a lot less. I could be down to months or even weeks."

The 43-year-old Odjick played from 1990-2002 in the NHL, including eight years in Vancouver and two in Montreal. He also played for the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers, recording 64 goals, 73 assists and 2,567 penalty minutes in 605 regular season games. Odjick played 44 playoff games, all with Vancouver, scoring four goals and an assist.

The Maniwaki, Que., native was drafted by the Canucks in the fifth round (86th overall) of the 1990 NHL Draft.

"I feel very fortunate for the support I've received over the years," Odjick said. "During my career I played in some great NHL cities including Vancouver, Long Island, Philadelphia and Montreal.

"In my heart, I will always be a Canuck and I have always had a special relationship here with the fans."

Odjick said he was diagnosed with the disease two days after Pat Quinn was added to Rogers Arena's Ring of Honour in April, and he's been in hospital ever since.

Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday