Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa announced with a statement on Wednesday that he will sit out the 2017-18 NHL season due to a "progressive skin disorder."
The 38-year-old player's announcement that he will miss next season comes after he has played 19 consecutive NHL seasons since joining the league.
While Hossa's statement reveals he has decided to sit out due to his skin disorder and the "severe side effects" that come with the medication he takes to treat it, his announcement does not indicate whether the league veteran is hanging up his skates for good.
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"Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder," Hossa said in his statement, released by the Blackhawks team. "Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season."
If Hossa is indeed done (or even if he's not), he has been the best free agent signing in Chicago sports history and yet still underrated.
— Ben Finfer (@BenFinfer) June 21, 2017
Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune notes that in the event of Hossa's retirement, he will conclude his NHL career with Hall of Fame credentials.
"He played in parts of 19 seasons and compiled 534 career goals while winning three Stanley Cups with the Hawks," Hine writes, "whom he signed with on a 12-year, $63.3 million deal before the 2009-10 season."
Blackhawks beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times Mark Lazerus commented on the news of Hossa's team absence, saying this would be "an awful way for him to have to go out."
Marian Hossa is one of the classiest, nicest people in the game, and a Hall of Famer. This would be an awful way for him to have to go out.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 21, 2017
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