NHL to review whether Marian Hossa qualifies for long-term injured reserve

Gary Bettman gives an update on the Board of Governors meeting and takes questions from the media.

Marian Hossa and the Chicago Blackhawks announced Wednesday the forward will miss the 2017-18 season as he deals with severe side effects associated with medication he’s on to treat a skin condition.

The team is expected to place Hossa on long-term injured reserve. Losing Hossa isn’t something the Blackhawks would’ve anticipated or wished for, but being able to put his $5.275-million cap hit on LTIR would give GM Stan Bowman some much-needed breathing room.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly addressed the media Wednesday in Las Vegas and commented on Hossa’s situation.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in his latest 30 Thoughts column “there is a legitimate possibility Hossa has played his final NHL game.”

Hossa has four years remaining on the 12-year, $63.3-million contract signed in 2009. The deal was front-loaded so Hossa’s actual salary is set at just $1 million in each of the next four seasons despite his significant cap hit.

“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 explained in a statement. “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 38-year-old Slovakian is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks. He has 525 goals, 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,309 career games.

“This is extremely difficult for us because we all know the incredible person and player that Marian Hossa is—competitive, loyal and humble,” Bowman stated. “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.”

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