The Chicago Blackhawks got closer to their opening day roster Friday by making another slew of roster cuts. One of the most intriguing decisions Chicago made was placing forward Bryan Bickell on waivers. The former hero of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs could be demoted to Rockford if no other team claims him.
It’s doubtful that anyone would be interested in Bickell. That team would have to pick up the tab on Bickell’s $4 million average annual salary over the next two seasons and wouldn’t get much in return. Bickell has not given much of a return on his current team’s investment. Bickell has 25 goals and 18 assists in the two seasons since earning that 4-year, $16-million contract he was awarded following Chicago’s second Stanley Cup championship since 2010.
The Blackhawks have tried to ship Bickell away in a trade, but could never find a willing partner. Now, Chicago is hoping that a team takes a chance on him on the waivers. If Bickell is demoted to Rockford, it will save the Blackhawks $950,000 in cap relief, according to The Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.
Is there a team out there that could believe a change of scenery is all Bickell needs? That team would need to have a decent amount of cap space and a need for an underperforming left winger. Here are a few teams that could take a shot on Bick.
Whenever you ask, “Who’s a team that could take this guy,” the Coyotes are always in the discussion. Arizona has more than $12 million in cap space and Bickell could be a second-line player for the ‘Yotes. Arizona’s current stable of left wings includes Mikkel Boedker, Anthony DuClair and John Scott. Case in point.
The Predators could use another big, lumbering body in their lineup. Bickell has shown an ability to be a checker and could serve as an instrumental third- or fourth-line player in Nashville. The Predators have more than $13 million in cap room and don’t have a plethora of talent at the left wing position. Nashville could also try and use Bickell against the Blackhawks.
New York Islanders
The Isles have a young team and could use a player with playoff experience. The Islanders have $7.4 million in cap space and could afford to bring in an experienced wing whose style translates better to the Eastern Conference. Bickell could play alongside John Tavares on occasion as well, serving as an enforcer. He could get plenty of traffic in front of the net for New York’s skilled forwards.
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