According to a joint statement released today from Marian Hossa, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Blackhawks team physician, the 19-year hockey veteran will not be able to play next season due to a "progressive skin disorder." Hossa says he's been dealing with this in private over "the last few years" and the waning effectiveness of the medication and the medication's side effects have made it "not possible" to play next season.
Though the statement does not elaborate, other than to say it has been difficult to treat "while he plays hockey," a report from ESPN says the disorder is caused by a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment. Both Hossa and the team have remained quiet on what this means for the future of his playing career, but given he was about to enter his 20th season and will turn 39 next January, it's hard not to wonder if this is it for him.
If this is the end, it's a bizarre one for a career that spanned more than 1,300 games among some of the more historic franchises in the sport. Hossa would finish 54th on the all-time NHL scoring list in points with 1,134, and 34th in goals with 525.