As we know, Marian Hossa will not play in the upcoming NHL season due to an extremely rare allergic reaction to his gear. Apparently this is something he has been dealing with for years and it has been something that has flown under our radars as fans. His loss on the ice is huge, as he had a resurgence to his career in terms of goals and assists, an of course his two way play is one of the best in the league. He’ll be missed off the ice too, he’s a genuinely great person. I speak from personal experience as I saw him skate at the very same rink I learned how to skate at along with other Hawks/NHL players. This was in December of 2012, just before the lockout that year ended and of course the Hawks would eventually go on to win their second cup. Hossa had just started skating again because of the concussion from a brutal and totally illegal hit Raffi Torres gave him in the 2012 playoffs. I took a picture with him and got an autograph just like many fans. However, he also took the time to talk to me. He asked if I played hockey and where I wanted to play in college. I asked him about his head and shoulders since he was recovering. It was a great 5 minute or so conversation, and little did I know, he was hiding the fact that his gear was causing him problems. It’s amazing to me that he pushed through the allergic reaction and motivated himself to keep playing. Helping (and we definitely couldn’t have done it without him) the Hawks win 3 cups. I will definitely miss him this year as he is one of my favorite NHL players. I hope he is able to return to the game for the 2018-2019 season and eventually be able to end his career on his terms, and not because of a rare skin reaction. Get well soon Big Hoss, we’ll miss ya.

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