ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks star Marian Hossa will sit out next season because of a serious skin disorder caused reportedly by his hockey equipment.

It's a rare allergic reaction that former North Stars defenseman Tom Reid knows all about.

Tom Reid's NHL career ended abruptly in 1978, but he loved every minute of those 11 seasons. His favorite memory actually hangs on the wall in his St. Paul sports bar - "Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub."

"I think individual memory, and people still talk about it, when I scored a penalty shot against Ken Dryden," said Reid.

The best of Reid's 17 career goals, scoring on the future Hall of Fame goaltender Dryden.

The worst memory, though, started in 1975. Reid noticed this rash on his arm.

"It was bloody. I can't describe it any other way. It's gruesome," said Reid.

It hurt bad and was really itchy. And, every time he played hockey, it grew.

"They couldn't figure out what it was. They didn't know if it was a combination of my makeup, my DNA, or was it the heat, was it perspiration, was it the equipment, the friction, all of those things it was kind of the perfect storm," said Reid.

By 1977, the medical staff had given it a name - "the gunk" - and it had exploded all over Reid's body.

"I had to wrap myself in towels trying to absorb it so it wouldn't ruin my clothing," said Reid.

Reid tried everything: he changed equipment, covered his skin with different materials, he used creams. He says - he even went to a dermatologist and tried steroids. Nothing worked.

"The only relief I got was from actually staying away from the game, and within two weeks of being away from playing it was gone. But, then if I started up again, I could just feel it - here it comes again," said Reid.

So, the man who played with a broken jaw, fingers, and toes, couldn't play because of a skin problem. Reid retired from the North Stars at age 32.

"It was devastating to me because I didn't want to end my career that way. I thought I had maybe 3-4 years to go," said Reid.