Blackhawks unsure how they’ll address Hossa’s absence

Hossa (81) prepares for a face off against the Florida Panthers. (Joel Auerbach/AP Photo)

CHICAGO — Marian Hossa has been a key performer for the Chicago Blackhawks for the last nine years. They aren’t exactly sure what they are going to do without him.

Hossa announced Wednesday he won’t play next season because of severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin disorder. The decision creates questions for the Blackhawks, ranging from how they might go about replacing the rugged forward to what they might do with any cap space created by his absence.

It’s also unclear if the 38-year-old Hossa will play again.

Speaking Thursday ahead of this weekend’s NHL draft, general manager Stan Bowman says it’s "a little bit early" to predict what they are going to do in the wake of Hossa’s absence.<

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