Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks issued the following statement on June 21:
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. Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. 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.
The Chicago Blackhawks organization, including Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman, and my agent, Ritch Winter, have been very supportive throughout this entire process. 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.
Hossa isn’t the first to face this health issue commonly referred to as “The Gunk.” It has forced many players including Tom Reid into early retirement due to the condition. Hossa is not entering early retirement but will be placed on long-term injured reserve for the 2017-18 season.
Hossa has been essential to the core of the Hawks since the 2009-10 season and he has three Stanley Cups to prove it. He has left behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship throughout his NHL career.
Here is a look at his legacy.
A Grand Entrance
After playing and losing in two Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 with the Penguins and in 2009 with the Red Wings, Hossa joined the Hawks for the 2009-10 season. Determined to get back to the Finals again and win the Cup once and for all, Hossa succeeded. When he raised the Stanley Cup after the Hawks defeated the Flyers in 2010, it was clear that Hossa was there to stay. He earned two more Cups in 2013 and 2015, cementing his legacy as one of the core players of the team.
Hossa is considered one of the best players on the Hawks and in the League. His two-way skills make him a great defensive forward and he became the 44th player to reach the 500-goal mark at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. His 19 seasons in the NHL have been nothing short of remarkable and he seems to get better every season. He continuously shows that age is just a number and at 38 years old (in 2016-17), Hossa scored 26 goals, ranking him 47th overall in the NHL.
He is famous for his greasy goals, one of the most famous was in overtime in the 2010 playoffs against the Predators.
Hall of Fame?
It is unclear if this is the end of Hossa’s career. He may return in the 2018-19 season better than ever and finish his contract with the Blackhawks. No matter when Hossa retires he will retire a legend. He cemented his legacy after winning three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks and is one of the most respected and well-liked players in the game. He is sure to make the Hall of Fame and possibly have his number retired by the Hawks alongside legends such as Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull.
Hossa played a unique and clean game for nineteen seasons. If he retires tomorrow, he will retire with a career most NHL players dream of. He played for several teams but will be remembered as a Blackhawk. He is one of their all-time top forwards and he has been a crucial part of their recent dynasty. No matter when Hossa hangs up his skates for good, his character and accomplishments will be the legacy that he leaves behind.