Pascal Dupuis is Likely Done in the NHL


“I think it’s something in the water,” suggested Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang following teammate Olli Maatta’s tumor diagnosis in late October of this year. That diagnosis came on the heels of former goaltender Tomáš Vokoun being treated for a blood clot in his pelvis and Letang suffering a stroke.

Now, just under a month since Letang’s comment, it was announced that forward Pascal Dupuis will be out for six months due to a blood clot in his lung.

Dupuis had returned to action this year after missing most of last season following knee surgery. According to Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, the Penguins team physician, this has been an issue for the Canadian winger since that injury.

"“Pascal had a blood clot in his leg that traveled to his lung,” said Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, the Penguins’ team physician. “In medical terms, that is a deep vein thrombosis resulting in a pulmonary embolism. This is the second such incident that we know of for Pascal. The treatment is at least six months of blood thinners, during which time he will not be able to play hockey. Other than that, his condition is stable.”"

This yet another in a series of horrifying medical occurrences incurred by Dupuis over the past several months. After having his knee ripped apart, a puck fly into his neck and, now, a life-threatening ailment, it makes sense that Dupuis has prioritized, saying, “Hockey’s definitely second in my mind right now and my family is the most important part of my life right now. So, I just have to be healthy for them.”

While both Dupuis and Vyas stated that they are unsure if this blood clot will signal the end of Dupuis’ playing career, I feel that it is safe to say that the end is likely here for the much-loved #9.

At 35 years of age, Dupuis was already entering the twilight of his career, albeit with some very impressive stats to match. But in light of all his recent maladies, it may be in the best interest of both the Penguins and Dupuis to call it quits now.

For the Penguins, while it leaves a sizable hole in the top six forwards, a retirement from Dupuis would open up several very interesting options as well.

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According to, because Dupuis signed his 4-year, $15 million deal before he turned 35, he will not count against the cap if he is to retire. Additionally, Dupuis would likely have a position within the front office or coaching staff waiting for him if he were to end his playing career and his leadership and grit would certainly be welcomed by the franchise. Finally, it would give the Penguins an opportunity to use their new-found cap space in order to fill his slot, as well as potentially bring up prospects to develop their games in the pros.

For Dupuis, retirement would allow him the chance to recover adequately and care for his family. There would also be no shortage of job opportunities, such as the aforementioned potential gig with the Penguins or even a position on any of the major hockey TV programs.

The loss of Pascal Dupuis would sting for the Penguins and it is always difficult to watch a beloved athlete endure a hardship such as this so young in their life. But, in perspective, it would be the best option for both parties. The Penguins would have the opportunity to explore new options while still maintaining a relationship with Dupuis, while he would be able to recover and spend more time with his family, in addition to exploring potential new career opportunities within hockey.

Whatever the outcome, we all will be wishing Pascal Dupuis the very best as he recovers from this scary ailment and we hope to see him back with the Penguins, in one form or another, as soon as possible.