(CBS) Plagued by an allergy, Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa may have played the final game of his NHL career, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported late Tuesday evening.
While details of this medical situation remain rather unclear, the 38-year-old Hossa suffers from an allergic reaction to the equipment he wears, Friedman reported, to the extent that he’s had to have his blood tested every few weeks because the medication to combat it is so potent.
A 19-year NHL veteran, Hossa has spent the past eight seasons with the Blackhawks, serving as a key part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams. He had 26 goals and 19 assists in 73 games last season, after which he indicated he had no plans to retire.
How exactly this situation plays out remains murky. If Hossa’s playing days are indeed done, retirement would seem logical. The catch is that if this situation is strung out and he doesn’t retire, the Blackhawks could receive some cap relief by placing him on the long-term injured reserve that they wouldn’t receive if he retired, Friedman reported.
Hossa has four seasons left on what was originally a 12-year, $63-million deal, most of which has been paid, as it was front-loaded. Hossa is owed $1 million in each of the next four years, but his cap hit is $5.275 million, the average annual value of the deal. If he retires now, the Blackhawks would be hit with a “cap recapture” penalty of $3.675 million until 2020-’21, Friedman reported.