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Hossa ending playing career after 19 seasons in NHL: report

Forward won Stanley Cup three times with Blackhawks @NHLdotcom

Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks is ending his playing career after 19 seasons in the NHL.

"I'm done playing hockey," the 39-year-old forward told Slovak newspaper Novy Cas. "I have a contract with Chicago for the next three years, but I have to watch my health, and my body says the comeback is not possible."

Hossa, who had 1,134 points (525 goals, 609 assists) in 1,309 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 and 2015, did not play this season because of a progressive skin disorder and side effects of medication to treat it. He was placed on long-term injured reserve Oct. 4.

Hossa said last June he had been undergoing treatment for the disorder under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff for the past few years but the side effects and his reaction to them made it impossible for him to play.

He said Saturday that's still the case.

"Before the season, the NHL sent me to a clinic in Minneapolis to see a specialist who confirmed that it's impossible to play hockey when using those [anti-allergic] medicaments," Hossa told the newspaper. "I have to be aware of what might happen and I don't want to get back to the state I had been in during the previous seasons."

His last game was April 20, 2017, when the Blackhawks lost 4-1 to the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Since then, I haven't [put the hockey equipment on]. Not even a single time," he said. "I've been on the ice couple of times just to skate with my daughters but I haven't had my hockey gear on."

Hossa said he and his family will return home to Slovakia.

"The daughter goes to school for another school year so we had to make a decision," he said.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in April that Hossa's condition hadn't changed and that there was "no indication he's going to play next year, either."

Video: CBJ@CHI: Hossa slides home a backhand with nice move

Hossa was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the first round (No. 12) of the 1999 NHL Draft. He played for the Blackhawks, Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

Hossa played 534 games with Chicago after signing a 12-year contract with the Blackhawks as a free agent July 1, 2009. That contract has three years remaining. It's unlikely he would announce his retirement before it expires after the 2020-21 season because Chicago would face recapture penalties that would affect their NHL salary cap.

The Blackhawks could continue to place Hossa on long-term injured reserve or trade him.

"Let's see how the club will manage all this," Hossa said.

Hossa ranks 35th in NHL goals, 82nd in assists, 54th in points, and 61st in games. He has 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 Stanley Cup Playoff games. His best offensive season was with the Thrashers in 2006-07, when he had 100 points (43 goals, 57 assists). He was a three-time 40-goal scorer and scored at least 30 goals in eight seasons.

Hossa, who played in five NHL All-Star games, became the 44th player in NHL history to score 500 goals with one against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 19, 2016.

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