Former hockey player and current TV color commentator Eddie Olczyk announced Tuesday that he is being treated for colon cancer.
“I have been working with outstanding health care professionals and expect to be back in the broadcast booth after I complete my treatment,” Olczyk said in a statement. “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.”
Olczyk, who will turn 51 on Aug. 16, played 16 seasons in the NHL for the Blackhawks, Jets, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Penguins and Kings. His best season came as a 22-year-old with the Leafs in 1988-89, when he scored 38 goals and added 52 assists.
Olczyk was on the Rangers team that won the Stanley Cup in 1994. He also coached the Penguins for the 2003-04 season and part of the 2005-06 season.
“Eddie O” currently works as a TV analyst for national broadcasts on NBC and Blackhawks games with Pat Foley on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN.
“On behalf of everyone at NBC Sports, we wish Eddie and his family all the best as they cope with this health issue,” NBC Sports executive producer and president of production Sam Flood said. “Our top priority is for Edzo to get healthy.”
Blackhawks team physician Michael Terry said that Olczyk was diagnosed last week and underwent a surgical procedure to remove a tumor. He will undergo further treatment, including chemotherapy.
“Eddie Olczyk is a treasured member of the Chicago Blackhawks family and we will be supportive of him as he fights this disease,” team president John McDonough said in a statement. “We encourage our fans to keep him in their thoughts as we all look forward to having him back in good health as soon as possible.”