The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Tuesday that former NHL player, head coach, and color commentator Eddie Olczyk has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be stepping away from the booth while he undergoes treatment.
“I have been diagnosed with a form of colon cancer and am currently undergoing treatment for the disease.
“I have been working with outstanding health care professionals and expect to be back in the broadcast booth after I complete my treatment, Having the support and encouragement from my family, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, NBC Sports and all my friends and fans means the world to me and will give me continued strength to beat this. My family and I appreciate privacy during this time as we focus our attention on my treatments.”
A Chicago native, Olczyk was drafted by his hometown team with the third overall pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
He went on to put up 794 points in 1,031 career NHL games with Chicago, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins, winning a Stanley Cup in 1994 with the Rangers and getting inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
He spent a season and a half as a head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, overseeing the team during the 2003-04 campaign and getting replaced 31 games into the 2005-06 season following the lockout. From there, he moved to the broadcast booth, where he’s become a staple as a voice for hockey around North America.
Per Blackhawks team president and CEO John McDonough, who spoke on behalf of the club:
“Eddie Olczyk is a treasured member of the Chicago Blackhawks family and we will be supportive of him as he fights this disease. We encourage our fans to keep him in their thoughts and we all look forward to having him back in good health as soon as possible.”