The Pittsburgh Penguins disclosed Tuesday afternoon that right-wing Pascal Dupuis is leaving hockey because of a medical condition related to his battle with blood clots. His valiant effort to create a comeback in the National Hockey League has come to an end.
The 36-year-old played in 18 contests this season while taking blood thinners. The Laval, Quebec native endured several recent medical episodes possibly related to his condition. Dupuis came out of several contests and had to go through an array of tests. It happened Tuesday, Dec. 1 against the Sharks in San Jose, California when he left the match-up in the second period with chest pains.
Pittsburgh team doctor, Dr. Dharmesh Vyas said on the team’s website, “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.”
The Black and Gold placed Dupuis on the injured reserve list. He will eventually go on long-term injured reserve. The Penguins plan to pay his salary. Dupuis is in the third year of a four-year deal that compensates him an average annual salary of $3.75 million.
“It was very difficult for me to make this decision to have to step away from the game,” Dupuis said on the team’s website. “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.”
Dupuis revealed his decision to his teammates Tuesday morning. “It made it emotional for me,” he told Sam Kasan on the team’s website. “The guys on the bench and in the locker room were obviously concerned with how I was feeling. I don’t want to be a distraction.”
The original diagnoses of a blood clot came in January 2014 when Dupuis suffered torn ligaments in his knee. He took blood thinners for six months while on the mend from the surgery. His ordeal did not end there as Dupuis was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung in November 2014. He missed the rest of the 2014-15 campaign while on blood thinners. He was given the green light to return to the ice in June 2015.
In 15 NHL seasons with the Pens, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, and Atlanta Thrashers, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward engaged in 871 NHL games. Dupuis had 190 goals and 409 points. Over the course of his 18 contests this season, Dupuis contributed two goals and two assists for four points.
The Black and Gold obtained Dupuis from the Thrashers Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008 along with right-wing Marian Hossa. They sent a trio of forwards to Atlanta, Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round draft choice. The veteran winger helped Pittsburgh claim the Stanley Cup championship in 2009.
Next Up: The Penguins (14-10-2, 30 points) hit the ice Wednesday, Dec. 9 against the Colorado Avalanche (11-15-1, 23 points) at the Pepsi Center. They gather at center ice at 10:00 p.m. You can watch every lighting of the lamp on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh and the NBC Sports Network.