(CBS) The NHL will allow the Blackhawks to place 38-year-old forward Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve, The Athletic’s Scott Powers reported Tuesday, giving them some salary cap relief for this upcoming season.

Hossa will miss the entire 2017-’18 season dealing with the side effects of a progressive skin disorder that’s expected to end his career as well. An independent doctor recently reviewed Hossa’s medical case on the league’s behalf to verify his condition. That will open the option for the Blackhawks to place him on LTIR, which would then allow them to utilize his $5.275 million cap hit during the season, The Athletic reported.

Hossa’s situation that provides the cap-strapped Blackhawks relief had raised some questions from outsiders, given his age and the fact that he has four years left on what was originally a 12-year contract. That contract was front-loaded, so 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.

Hossa had 26 goals and 19 assists in 73 games last season. He’s a five-time All-Star and 19-year NHL veteran who has been a key piece of the Blackhawks’ three Stanley Cup championships since 2010.