- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa has had a decorated career in the NHL, but it could be coming to an end.

Hossa and the Blackhawks announced Wednesday that he’ll miss the entire 2017-18 season due to a “progressive skin disorder.” The statement didn’t say that he would be retiring.

Hossa, who has played 20 seasons in the NHL, had been battling an allergic reaction to his hockey equipment. The 38-year-old had been taking medicine that gave him severe side effects and was becoming less effective, Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement.

The best treatment for Hossa is to not play hockey, which puts his future in the league in doubt.

Considering his age, Hossa was still an effective player for the Blackhawks, scoring 26 goals last season. Through his career, Hossa has won the Stanley Cup three times.

The move also gives salary cap relief to the cap-tight Blackhawks, who need to get below the salary cap of $75 million before next season. Hossa can be a candidate for long-term injured reserve, allowing the Blackhawks to earn money back.

If Hossa, who has a cap hit of $5.275 million next season, retired, the Hawks would have had to pay a penalty because of the collective bargaining agreement.

Still, it’s a bizarre and potentially sad ending for a player like Hossa.

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