(CBS) Former Blackhawk and current broadcaster Eddie Olczyk has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is undergoing treatment, he said in a statement released through the team Tuesday afternoon.
Olczyk had surgery last week to remove the tumor and is “recovering well,” Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said.
“I have been diagnosed with a form of colon cancer and am currently undergoing treatment for the disease,” Olczyk said. “I have been working with outstanding health care professionals and expect to be back in the broadcast booth after I complete my treatment. Having the support and encouragement from my family, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, NBC Sports and all my friends and fans means the world to me and will give me continued strength to beat this. My family and I appreciate privacy during this time as we focus our attention on my treatments.”
One of the most respected and well-liked figures in all of hockey, Olczyk had a 16-year playing career that ended in 2000. He was drafted third overall by the Blackhawks in 1984 and had two stints with the organization, including his final two seasons. In between, he was a member of the 1994 New York Rangers that won the Stanley Cup.
“He is recovering well from the procedure and will be undergoing further treatment in the coming weeks, including chemotherapy,” Dr. Terry said. “We look forward to his return to good health after the completion of his treatment.”
Olczyk currently serves as an analyst for Blackhawks games on local television and also for NBC on national broadcasts. He’s also a guest commentator for NBC in its horse racing coverage, notably the Kentucky Derby.
“Eddie Olczyk is a treasured member of the Chicago Blackhawks family, and we will be supportive of him as he fights this disease,” team president John McDonough said. “We encourage our fans to keep him in their thoughts as we all look forward to having him back in good health as soon as possible.”