Flyers

Blackhawks' Marian Hossa to miss 2017-18 season because of skin disorder

Blackhawks' Marian Hossa to miss 2017-18 season because of skin disorder

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa will miss the entire upcoming NHL season because of severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin condition he's been dealing with for years.

The team announced the medical update Wednesday, one that could have a significant impact on the veteran's career and the franchise's future. The 38-year-old Hossa has four years left on his contract and says "playing hockey is not possible" for him next season.

"While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice," Hossa said in a statement released by the Blackhawks, adding he's been privately undergoing treatment for the last few years under the supervision of Chicago's medical staff.

Dr. Michael Terry said the team supports Hossa's decision not to play and that the skin disorder is "becoming more and more difficult to treat and control with conventional medications while he plays hockey."

"We feel in the most certain terms this is the appropriate approach for Marian in order to keep him functional and healthy in the short term and throughout his life," Terry said.

General manager Stan Bowman calls Hossa's absence a significant loss. Hossa, a 19-year veteran, has only missed 46 games over the past six seasons. He had 26 goals and 19 assists last season and has been considered one of the best defensive forwards in the league throughout his career.

"His teammates and coaches know he battled through some very tough physical difficulties but never complained or missed games despite the challenges he faced," Bowman said.

Hossa has been part of three Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks teams during his eight seasons in Chicago.

He has a salary-cap hit of $5,275,000 for the next four seasons. The cap-strapped Blackhawks can put Hossa on long-term injured reserve to get some relief from a deal that was worth $63.3 million over 12 years.

Hossa has already been paid $59.3 million as part of a front-loaded contract. In real dollars he's set to make just $1 million in each of the next four seasons, and because of that, the Blackhawks will likely keep Hossa on LTIR rather than him retiring and costing the team cap-recapture penalties that were instituted for the last collective bargaining agreement.

With Hossa's cap hit off the books and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and center Marcus Kruger linked to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, Chicago won't have as many roster problems as originally predicted in the first season of Artemi Panarin's $12 million, two-year deal.

But Hossa's on-ice contributions will be difficult to replace.

Hossa has 525 goals and 609 assists for 1,134 points in 1,390 regular-season games with Ottawa, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago. He has 149 points in 205 playoff games and has appeared in the Cup Final five times.

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

usa_ray_emery_flyers.jpg
USA Today Images

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery died Sunday morning. First responders pulled his body out of Hamilton Harbour, where he had been swimming with friends. An investigation into the cause of death is still ongoing. 

Emery was 35.

According to local authorities, Emery was checking out a friend’s boat docked at Royal Hamilton Yacht Club when the group he was with decided to jump in the water around 6:30 a.m. Emery’s body never surfaced and was eventually recovered around 2:50 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Hamilton police say Emery’s body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen.

Emery was last seen publicly with a handful of his former teammates Saturday night as the goaltender participated in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game in Hamilton. Emery can be seen standing during the playing of “O Canada.”

"The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery," president Paul Holmgren said in a statement from the team. "Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.

"His performances through the 2009-10 season were a very big part of the team's success in making the playoffs and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Several of Emery’s former teammates over the years offered their condolences via Twitter after learning of the tragedy.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo shared the he was crushed by the news (NSFW).

Jakub Voracek also shared his condolences (NSFW).

Emery joined the Flyers in June 2009 on a one-year contract, shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in his Flyers debut. The goaltender’s first stint in Philadelphia was cut short when he suffered a muscle tear in his abdomen in December missing the remainder of the season. Emery was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis — a degenerative condition to the bone tissue in his hip.

After undergoing successful surgery, Emery eventually joined the Ducks before winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Impressively, Emery finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 record. He re-signed with the Flyers that summer as a backup to Steve Mason.

Emery’s most infamous moment in Philadelphia came during an ugly 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013, as the Flyers netminder pummeled Caps goalie Braden Holtby during a line brawl in the early stages of the third period.

Emery faced criminal charges over a handful of off-the-ice incidents and altercations. Most recently, he was arrested for assault with a weapon in 2017 against former fiancé Keshia Chanté. 

Emery played a total of 287 NHL games, 88 with the Flyers. 

Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

usa_danick_martell_tyrell_goulbourne_taylor_leier.jpg
USA Today Images

Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

Updated: 9:44 p.m.

Three young forwards will all be staying in the Flyers organization, at least for one more year.

Sunday, the team announced that Danick Martel accepted his qualifying offer on a one-year contract, and that restricted free agents Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne signed one-year deals.

Restricted free agent goalie Anthony Stolarz has also accepted his qualifying offer of $761,250, according to a report from John Hoven. Stolarz, 24, played in just one game for the Phantoms in the 2017-18 season after undergoing surgery on a meniscus tear last summer. A second-round pick by the Flyers in the 2012 draft, Stolarz went 18-9 and posted a 2.92 goals against average with Lehigh Valley in 2016-17.

Though the team didn't include any salary details, Martel's deal is reportedly a two-way contract worth $715,000.

The 23-year-old Martel made his NHL debut last season, finishing with no points and six shots over four games. He scored a career-best 25 goals for Lehigh Valley.

With Leier, the Flyers avoided a possible arbitration hearing. According to CapFriendly, Leier's contract is a one-way deal for $720,000. Leier's hearing was scheduled for Aug. 3. The team also earlier avoided a hearing with Alex Lyon, their other player who filed for arbitration, signing the goalie to a two-year deal.

A fourth-round selection in 2012, Leier had one goal and four assists in 39 regular-season games with the Flyers as a rookie.

Goulbourne, who made his NHL debut on Jan. 6, appeared in nine regular-season contests, with 15 hits.

If Stolarz is indeed back in the fold, Robert Hagg would be the team's only remaining restricted free agent. 

More on the Flyers