Jan 8, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) pursued by New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto (4) in the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
1. Bryan Bickell
The biggest signing of the summer had to have been Bickell for $4 million dollars which seemed almost like a bargain after his playoff run. A funny thing happened to being a regular season standout, Bickell missed almost a month with a lower body injury and hasn’t seen like the player the scored goals throughout the playoffs.
One thing about hockey players is they play hurt unlike most sports. There is no way Bickell is playing at 100% well watching games from the pressbox at 100%. Bickell’s game is best when he plays physical (not reckless) and that usually leads to him being in front of the net putting rebounds in or separating the puck from the opposition that leads to chances.
Another problem I see with Bickell is the Q line blender has killed his confidence a bit. Last season he played exclusively with Andrew Shaw and Viktor Stalberg during the regular season and then when he played with Kane and Toews in the playoffs it was magic. Having time off to clear his head of some mental scars could be just as valuable as the time off to get him back up to 100%!
The Hawks don’t have a plethora of big physical forwards and the play of Bickell during last seasons playoff run was crucial and getting him back near that level will be key coming this April and hopefully come June we can look back and say thanks Olympic break for giving Bickell the time off he needed at the right time!
What do you think? Is there another Hawks you think will benefit most from three weeks off?
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