PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that Pascal Dupuis is ending his hockey playing career because of his medical condition related to blood clots.
The 36-year-old forward played 18 games this season while taking blood thinners, but the team says he has experienced several recent medical incidents that are possibly related to the condition.READ MORE: Clemson Continues Domination Of Pitt In 75-48 Loss For Panthers
On the team’s website, Dupuis said: “It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game. 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.”
The Penguins doctor, Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, said in a statement: “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.”
Teammate Sidney Crosby got emotional when asked what Dupuis meant to him after all the years they played together.
“I don’t know if I can get through it to be honest with you. I’m going to miss him a lot. Great guy,” Crosby. “Hopefully he’ll be around. I know he’s going to have a hard time staying away from the rink. I’m sure we’ll see lots of him.”
Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement: “I’ve never seen a man more determined to play and more determined to help his team. Unfortunately, we’ve reached the point where it’s not in the best interest of his health to allow him to do that anymore.”
Dupuis was originally diagnosed with blood clots back in January of 2014 after suffering torn ligaments in his knee. He was then diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in November of 2014, missing the rest of last season.READ MORE: Nittany Lions Baffled By Murray Brothers, Lose 68-51 To Iowa
In his career, Dupuis played 15 seasons tallying 190 goals and 409 points and won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins back in 2009.
He’s also played for the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers.
Other teammates say they’ll remember Dupuis for the life he brought to the locker room.
“He’s always been a big part of our team. He’s loud, he’s funny. He says stupid stuff so it keeps the mood pretty light,” Pittsburgh Penguins Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said.
They support his choice of leaving for the right reasons.
“You have to take care of your family and your personal self before you think of your team,” Pittsburgh Penguins Forward Chris Kunitz said.
“Guys like him are real glue guys to the team. When you don’t have them in your lineup, you miss them a lot,” head coach Mike Johnston said.
The team has placed Dupuis on the injured reserve list and intend to place him on long-term injured reserve.MORE NEWS: Ohio Redistricting Commission Once Again Fails To Pass Legislative Maps