Late Tuesday night news broke that Hawks forward Marian Hossa’s career could be in jeopardy due to some odd allergic reaction to his equipment.

Then this morning the Blackhawks and Marian Hossa released a joint statement confirming the reports, and announcing that Hossa will miss the entire 2017-18 due to a “progressive skin disorder.”

Statement from Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa:

Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder. Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 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.
The Chicago Blackhawks organization, including Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman, and my agent, Ritch Winter, have been very supportive throughout this entire process. I would also like to thank my teammates and the amazing Blackhawks fans for their understanding. With respect to the privacy of my family, I will not be commenting any further on my health.

While the word “retire” was never officially used, I think we can all read between the lines.

The announcement came as a shock to Hawks fans and the entire hockey world. The 38-year-old Hossa has been a core piece for the Blackhawks over the last eight seasons. He sits with 525 goals accumulated over more than a thousand career games.

Hossa’s departure “helps” the Blackhawks’ cap situation. The team can now (**pending league approval) place him on long-term injured reserve, thus opening up $5.275 million in cap space. This, along with other moves to come, will allow the Hawks to have more flexibility in free agency than originally thought.

Of course, many in the hockey world raised their eyebrows at the announcement. While the sudden cap relief is convenient for the Hawks, it’s in no way better than having Hossa on the ice in 2017-18. Also, only an ignorant person would believe this allergic reaction has been faked for years. The wacky conspiracy theorists were out in full force, despite media members everywhere lauding Hossa’s character on and off the ice.

Last season, after notching his 500th goal, Hossa exploded offensively scoring 26 goals, leading the way as one of the Hawks’ top scorers. You look at the Hawks lineup without him and it looks even thinner than before. There is really no benefit for the Hawks to not have his production out there.

I’ll write more on Hossa, his biggest moments and what he means to the Blackhawks, later today or tomorrow. As I said above, he’s been nothing but pure class during his time in the league. A private, humble, normal person from all reports.

As someone said on Twitter, this is probably the saddest way the Blackhawks could have become cap compliant.