The Chicago Blackhawks and Marian Hossa jointly announced this morning that Hossa would not be joining the team for the 2017/18 season due to his reaction to some medication used to treat a progressive skin disorder. He has had an allergy to the equipment he wears while playing and the strength of the allergy medication was causing him to get his blood tested every few weeks.
Whether Hossa chooses to remain active or retire, this is great news to those worried about the salary cap issues plaguing the team. If Hossa remains an “active” player on the long-term injured reserve list, his contract would not count against the newly increased $75MM salary cap. However, if he retires, the Blackhawks would be hit by a $3.675MM salary (approximately $1.5MM less than his cap hit for 2017/18) through the 2020/21 season. While Hossa had a bit of a bounce back year in 2016/17, his numbers weren’t high enough to truly justify his cap hit while playing on the third line. This news, combined with the expected trade of Kruger and the overall salary cap increase of $2MM will definitely help the back office do a bit more wheeling and dealing to add some pieces. If the Blackhawks are looking for a veteran leader to fill the gap left by Hossa the could offer Shane Doan a small contract and be playing him in the place of Kruger could be a great chance to add a great leader, while giving a well-respected player a chance at winning the Cup.