Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis will no longer play hockey because of a medical condition related to blood clots, Dupuis and the team announced today.
Dupuis, 36, had played 18 games this season while taking blood thinners but experienced several recent medical incidents possibly related to his condition. He had to be removed from several games – most recently on December 1 at San Jose – and each time had to undergo a series of tests.
“Despite playing on a medical protocol that has worked for other players in the NHL, we feel that the risk of Pascal playing with his condition and the side effects of the tests to monitor him are just not in the best interest of his long-term health,” said Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, the Penguins’ team physician.
Dupuis has been placed on the injured reserve list, and the Penguins intend to place him on long-term injured reserve.
“It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game,” Dupuis said. “My wife and four children have always been my first priority, and playing with my condition has become a constant worry for all of us. I want to thank my teammates and the Penguins organization for their unwavering support during this difficult time.”
“I feel very badly for Pascal,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. “I’ve never seen a man more determined to play and more determined to help his team. Unfortunately, we’ve reached the point where it’s not in the best interest of his health to allow him to do that anymore.”
Dupuis was originally diagnosed with a blood clot in January 2014 shortly after suffering torn ligaments in his knee. He was on blood thinners for six months while also recovering from surgery and rehabilitating his knee.
He then was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in November 2014 and missed the remainder of the 2014-15 season while on blood thinners. He was cleared to work out and take contact in June 2015.
Dupuis played 871 NHL games over 15 seasons with the Penguins, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers, scoring 190 goals and 409 points. He was acquired by the Penguins in a February 26, 2008 trade with Atlanta and was part of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup championship team in 2009.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Laval, Quebec had two goals and two assists for four points in 18 games this season.
The Penguins will continue to pay Dupuis’ salary. He is in the third year of a four-year contract that pays him an average annual salary of $3.75 million.