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Marian Hossa unable to play for Blackhawks next season

Forward sidelined by progressive skin disorder, side effects of medication

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will not play next season because of a progressive skin disorder and side effects of medication to treat it.

Hossa, 38, has experienced allergic reactions to his equipment, Sportsnet reported Tuesday.

Hossa said he has 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 in what would have been his 20th NHL season in 2017-18.

"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," Hossa said.

Hossa has 1,134 points (525 goals, 609 assists) in 1,309 games with the Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. He ranks 34th in NHL goals, 80th in assists, 54th in points, and 60th in games played. He has 149 points (52 goals, 97 assists) in 205 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

It remains unclear if Hossa, who has four years remaining on his contract, will return following next season. He has played eight seasons with the Blackhawks and helped them win the Stanley Cup three times (2010, 2013, 2015) after signing a reported 12-year contract with Chicago on July 1, 2009 as an unrestricted free agent.

"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," Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said. "We feel in the most certain terms this is the appropriate approach for Marian in order to keep him functional and healthy in the short term and throughout his life."

If Chicago places Hossa on long-term injured reserve, it would provide relief against the NHL salary cap of $75 million; Hossa's contract carries a salary-cap charge of $5.275 million, according to CapFriendly.com.

Video: Marian Hossa will miss entire 2017-18 season

"This is extremely difficult for us, because we all know the incredible person and player that Marian Hossa is … competitive, loyal and humble," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He has played a major role in the success our franchise has experienced in recent years, which makes his departure from our lineup a significant loss. His teammates and coaches know he battled through some very tough physical difficulties but never complained or missed games despite the challenges he faced. The organization will continue to provide him every resource he needs to maintain his health."

Hossa had 45 points (26 goals, 19 assists) in 73 games this season, including his 500th NHL goal in a 7-4 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 18. He didn't have a point in four playoff games, when the Blackhawks were swept by the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round.

Hossa met with reporters during the Blackhawks locker cleanout day and said he planned to return for his 20th NHL season.

"I love to train and prepare, and maybe one year when I feel it's not there, I'm going to know … but right now I still enjoy it," he said then. "If I feel like I cannot skate anymore, keep up with the young guys, that would have me thinking at home, 'Is it worth it to take somebody's spot?' But I still feel I have something to bring to the team, help the team in different areas."

Hossa was among seven forwards the Blackhawks protected in the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN), which will stock the roster of the Vegas Golden Knights.

"The Chicago Blackhawks organization, including [owner] Rocky Wirtz, [President and CEO] John McDonough and Stan Bowman, and my agent, Ritch Winter, have been very supportive throughout this entire process," Hossa said. "I would also like to thank my teammates and the amazing Blackhawks fans for their understanding. With respect to the privacy of my family, I will not be commenting any further on my health."

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