Blackhawks

Report suggests Blackhawks star Marian Hossa might be forced to end NHL career

Report suggests Blackhawks star Marian Hossa might be forced to end NHL career

LAS VEGAS – When Marian Hossa addressed the media on April 22, two days after the Blackhawks’ postseason was abruptly finished thanks to the Nashville Predators’ four-game sweep of them, he looked the picture of health. As disappointed as he was at the outcome, he smiled as he left the United Center, shaking hands with several members of the media.

But in a Sportsnet report from Elliotte Friedman, Hossa’s health is very much an issue, and it may mean the end of his career. Sources told Friedman that the medication Hossa needs to combat "a serious allergic reaction to the equipment he wears" could require the forward to get his blood tested every few weeks to make sure there were no side effects.

A message left with the Blackhawks had not been returned at the time of this writing.

Hossa has four years remaining on his current contract with a cap hit of $5.275 million per season. Hossa’s salary, however, will be $1 million each of the last four seasons. If Hossa was forced to retire, the Blackhawks would face salary recapture penalties of more than $3.5 million over the next four seasons. If Hossa were to be placed on long-term injured reserve, the Blackhawks would not be responsible for Hossa’s cap it.

Hossa has played in more than 1,300 regular-season games and passed the 500-goal mark with the Blackhawks this past season. He’s been to five Stanley Cup finals, winning three Cups with the Blackhawks.

When asked in April about playing in the World Championships, Hossa said he talked with the Slovakian team’s representatives and said, “at this stage, I’ve been in eight world championships, four Olympics, World Cups, so let the young guys play. Right now, I need to rest some things in my body, but it’s better to allow the young players to play. I’m 38 years old, so it’s time for the young guys to step up.”

But, asked if he was calling it quits, Hossa said, “I’m not calling anything,” to laughs.

If this is it, it would be a sad ending to an otherwise tremendous career.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: How should Blackhawks handle Kirby Dach's future?

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: How should Blackhawks handle Kirby Dach's future?

Should Kirby Dach see more ice time? What should the Blackhawks do with Erik Gustafsson? Has Robin Lehner separated himself in the goalie tandem?

Patrick Sharp and Charlie Roumeliotis join Pat Boyle to discuss that and much more on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast. Plus, you'll hear Robin Lehner's postgame comments after the loss to the Golden Knights and why he thinks the Blackhawks are "really close" to putting it all together.

1:08 - Blackhawks come up with best defensive effort of the season

2:52 - Changes made to the power play units

4:14 - Evaluating Erik Gustafsson's play so far

6:04 - Who fills in after the Connor Murphy injury

7:49 - Patrick Sharp remembers Patrick Kane rookie season

9:08 - What does the future hold for Kirby Dach?

12:04 - Struggles of the Blackhawks' top-six

14:44 - Another strong performance by Robin Lehner

16:33 - Lehner's strong post-game comments after Vegas loss

20:07 - How to handle the goalie-split going forward

23:25 - Biggest thing the Blackhawks need to improve upon

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks expected to be without Connor Murphy (groin injury) for 'a couple weeks'

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AP

Blackhawks expected to be without Connor Murphy (groin injury) for 'a couple weeks'

The Blackhawks are expected to be without defenseman Connor Murphy for "a couple weeks" after he left in the second period of Tuesday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights because of a groin injury, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after the game.

It's the same injury that sidelined Murphy for the season opener in Prague, which is unfortunate given his promotion to the top pairing with Duncan Keith has provided some stability on all three pairings. 

"Obviously that's a blow for us," Colliton said. "It's an opportunity for other guys. We think we need to continue to build depth. That's what we're going to need. We can't just play with six D or seven D all year. You're going to need more than that. That'll be an opportunity for other guys to grow."

Slater Koekkoek is serving as the seventh defenseman right now and he's the likely candidate to slide into Murphy's spot in the lineup. But the Blackhawks might be inclined to make a call-up from Rockford as insurance.

Dennis Gilbert started the season with the Blackhawks because Murphy and Calvin de Haan were not cleared to play overseas, so he's a potential candidate to be brought back up.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.