Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis will no longer play hockey because of a medical condition related to blood clots, Dupuis and the team announced today.
Dupuis, 36, had played 18 games this season while taking blood thinners but experienced several recent medical incidents possibly related to his condition. He had to be removed from several games – most recently on December 1 at San Jose – and each time had to undergo a series of tests.
"Despite playing on a medical protocol that has worked for other players in the NHL, we feel that the risk of Pascal playing with his condition and the side effects of the tests to monitor him are just not in the best interest of his long-term health," said Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, the Penguins’ team physician.
Dupuis has been placed on the injured reserve list, and the Penguins intend to place him on long-term injured reserve.
"It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game," Dupuis said. "My wife and four children have always been my first priority, and playing with my condition has become a constant worry for all of us. I want to thank my teammates and the Penguins organization for their unwavering support during this difficult time."
Awful news for Dupuis to have to announce, but life is more important than a game.
Dupuis' salary going on LTIR will allow the Penguins salary cap relief for the rest of this season. Hockey players with similar career ending situations (Chris Pronger and Marc Savard most notably) do not formally file retirement paperwork until their contracts end, in order to collect their salaries. Dupuis is technically under contract until July 1, 2017, but the team will certainly have him on LTIR next season and he will be a non-factor for the salary cap. That's obviously a very secondary concern at the moment of breaking news, but I figured some would be interested in it.
Dupuis has had a rocky go ever since tearing the ACL in his knee on December 23, 2013 and a blood clot formed, causing a delay in his surgery. Dupuis was cleared of clots and had a healed knee in time for the 2013-14 season, but admitted his condition returned and for 5 games he did not tell anyone. When he did, he was placed on blood thinners and shut down.
This year, Dupuis was cleared to play on a new medicine, but it wasn't smooth sailing. He went to a hospital over-night in Edmonton and missed 2 games in November, but was cleared again to resume playing. A week ago today on December 1, Dupuis left a game against San Jose during the second intermission, but returned to the next practice.
Dupuis scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 18 games this season, playing mostly on the Pens first line with Sidney Crosby. He had not been playing well, but obviously he had a lot going on and on his mind.
A sad ending for a good player and great guy. Almost certainly, one would think, that the Pens would be interested in finding some sort of non-player job for Dupuis who is widely respected and loved by all in the organization. It's stunning and sad that he has to quit playing the game he loves so much, but with a wife and children, he's got more to live for than just a silly game like hockey.