Breaking: Decision imminent that could affect the Hawks' entire season

The NHL is cutting it close!

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Sun Times' Mark Lazerus reported today that a decision is imminent in the case of Marian Hossa's status and how it will affect the Chicago Blackhawks' salary cap situation this year.

Hossa is missing the upcoming NHL season due to a progressive skin disorder. He carries a cap hit of $5.275 million this season and GM Stan Bowman hopes to be able to place the star player on long term injury reserve so that he can liberate that money and gain cap flexibility.

The NHL has to make a decision on the case - they must determine if Hossa is eligible for LTIR. If they deem him ineligible, Chicago will be forced to carry the cap hit all season long. Chicago needs them to make a decision sooner rather than later, considering that the season is about to be under way. They're definitely leaving things to the last second here.

Regardless of the decision they make, the Blackhawks are required to become cap compliant on opening night with Hossa's contract. They can only place him on LTIR on the second day of the season. 

Per CapFriendly, Chicago is currently $34,795 above the salary cap ceiling.