Former NHL forward and NBC Sports hockey analyst Eddie Olczyk was diagnosed with colon cancer last week.
"I have been working with outstanding health care professionals and expect to be back in the broadcast booth after I complete my treatment," Olczyk said in a statement issued by the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. "Having the support and encouragement from my family, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, NBC Sports and all my friends and fans means the world to me and will give me continued strength to beat this. My family and I appreciate privacy during this time as we focus our attention on my treatments."
Olczyk, who turns 51 on Aug. 16, has been the in-game analyst for Blackhawks games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV since the 2006-07 season. He was selected by the Blackhawks with the third pick in the 1984 NHL Draft, and played five seasons for Chicago from 1984-87 and 1998-2000.
The Blackhawks team physician said Olczyk had a procedure to remove a tumor, is recovering well, and will receive further treatment, including chemotherapy.
"Eddie Olczyk is a treasured member of the Chicago Blackhawks family and we will be supportive of him as he fights this disease," president and CEO John McDonagh said. "We encourage our fans to keep him in their thoughts as we all look forward to having him back in good health as soon as possible."
Olczyk had 794 points (342 goals, 452 assists) in 1,031 games for the Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. He coached the Penguins for two seasons between 2003-05, going 31-64-10 with eight ties.
Olczyk has been the lead hockey analyst for NBC Sports since 2007, working regularly with play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick. In the past two years, he also has worked Triple Crown and other major horse racing events for NBC.
"I read in the [Washington] Post that 75 percent of Americans of all faiths pray at least once a week," Emrick told the Chicago Sun-Times. "So there is something I/we can do. I think it makes a difference. Eddie loves ice cream. So each time I pass an ice cream parlor (or a race track), he will come to mind. I will look forward to our next game even more than the previous 12 years' worth. Cause I have a great original brother in Indiana, but a second 'brother' in Chicago."