Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa, who sat out the 2017-18 season due to a skin disorder and the side effects of the medications that came with it, announced that his playing career is officially over to Slovakian site Novy cas, according to Chicago Sun Times’ Mark Lazerus. While Elite Prospects listed him as retired, The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) does not mention retirement, but adds that Hossa wants to join the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office in three years when his contract expires, suggesting that he will not file retirement paperwork until then, which would allow Chicago to keep the veteran on LTIR for the next three years.
“I will not play hockey anymore,” Hossa said. “I have a valid contract with Chicago for another three years, but I have only one health and it does not allow me to return.”
The 39-year-old played 19 seasons in the NHL, eight of which for the Blackhawks as a key contributor to three Stanley Cup titles. Hossa, a five-time all-star, has had a distinguished career as he’s posted 1,134 points in 1,309 games and has been touted as one of the best defensive forwards of the game. He had a productive season in 2016-17, his last, as he put up 26 goals and 19 assists.
General manager Stan Bowman confirmed at the end of the Blackhawks season last month that Hossa’s situation had not improved.
“What I do know is that his status is unchanged,” Bowman said. “His physical condition hasn’t improved, so at this point there’s no indication he’s going to play next year, either. That’s about all I know at this point. We’ll probably have more discussions on that in the coming weeks, but his medical condition is unchanged.”
Hossa, who has been listed on LTIR for the 2017-18 season, still has three years remaining on the 12-year, $63.3MM deal he signed in 2009, which counts for a $5.275MM cap hit. On LTIR, Chicago only has to pay $1MM in salary per season. Powers writes the team will likely attempt to trade Hossa to free themselves from his contract entirely.