Gordie Howe has skin cancer and will undergo surgery to remove a dime-sized growth on his left shin, his wife said.
While doctors don't consider the situation to be life-threatening, "if we didn't take care of it, it would probably be serious," Colleen Howe said. "We think we caught it in time, though."
Howe, 71, the NHL's second all-time leading scorer behind Wayne Gretzky, is scheduled to undergo surgery on Nov. 29 in Toledo.
Howe discovered the growth a few months ago, but dismissed it as a bruise or a cut and covered it with a bandage, his wife said.
* HURTING: Panthers RW Pavel Bure will be out at least two weeks with a broken finger on his left hand, leaving the team without its top goal scorer. Bure already has missed five games because of injuries. . . .
Bruins C Jason Allison will miss at least two weeks with a sprained right forearm. . . . Luc Robitaille, who leads the Kings with 10 goals this season, will be sidelined for two to six weeks with a broken left foot. . . . Oilers F Rem Murray could miss three months with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.