CHICAGO, IL—Eddie Olczyk, TV analyst for the Chicago Blackhawks and NBC Sports, announced on Tuesday, August 9 he has been diagnosed colon cancer via the Blackhawks, for whom he played five seasons as a center.
“I have been diagnosed with a form of colon cancer and [I] 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,” said Olczyk.
Michael Terry, the team physician, announced that the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee proceeded with a surgical removal of the tumor, from which he is recovering well. He will continue with additional treatments in the coming weeks, including chemotherapy. Terry indicated that he expects Olczyk to be in good health upon the fulfillment of his upcoming procedures. John McDonough, President and CEO, described Olczyk as a “treasured member of the Blackhawks family,” and is encouraging fans and readers to keep him and his family in their thoughts.
Originally selected third overall by Chicago in 1984, Olczyk spent 16 seasons in the NHL with the Blackhawks (1984-1987), Toronto Maple Leafs (1987-1991), Winnipeg Jets (1990-1993, then again from 1994-1996), New York Rangers (to whom he was traded from Winnipeg in 1992-1993. He would play for them until he was traded back to Winnipeg in 1994-1995), Los Angeles Kings (1996-1997), and Pittsburgh Penguins (traded from Los Angeles in 1996-1997. He played for Pittsburgh until 1997-1998). He would return to Chicago for his final two NHL seasons (1998-2000), also playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL in 1998-1999. He wrapped up his professional career with 1,031 games under his belt in which he attained 794 points (342 goals, 452 assists) and 874 penalty minutes. Olczyk also coached Pittsburgh from 2003-2005 and went 31-64-10 with eight ties in 113 games.
Three of Olczyk’s four children, Nick, Tom, and Eddie III, took after their father. Nick currently plays hockey for the South Shore Kings of the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL), and Tom for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Eddie III played one season with the Bloomington Thunder of the Southern Premier Hockey League (SPHL) and is currently an assistant coach for the Niagara University Purple Eagles.
“I read in the [Washington] Post that 75 percent of Americans of all faiths pray at least once a week. So there is something I/we can do. I think it makes a difference. Eddie loves ice cream. So each time I pass an ice cream truck (or a race track), he will come to mind. I will look forward to our next game even more than the previous 12 years’ worth. Cause I have a great original brother in Indiana, but a second ‘brother’ in Chicago,” said play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick, who works alongside Olczyk.