Barrie Colts HC Dale Hawerchuk taking health-related leave of absence

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Former NHL star Dale Hawerchuk will not be behind the bench for the Barrie Colts to begin the 2019-20 OHL season due to health issues, the team announced Tuesday, according to The Canadian Press.

"We are a tight and close family here and it's difficult to have to make announcements like this," team president Howie Campbell said in a statement. "Dale is facing some health issues and will be taking the time he needs to deal with that situation. Our best wishes and thoughts are with Dale and his family during this difficult time."

Barrie did not provide any further details regarding his condition.

The 56-year-old was entering his 10th season behind the team's bench and is the longest-serving coach in its history. He's helped the Colts reach the postseason six times during his tenure.

Hawerchuk recorded 518 goals and 891 assists over 1,118 contests with the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, and Philadelphia Flyers. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

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Barrie Colts HC Dale Hawerchuk taking health-related leave of absence
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