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Chicago Blackhawks: Byran Bickell Should Be Bought Out

By Sean Fitzgerald
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In the midst of eight-game winning streak, the Chicago Blackhawks are getting contributions from everyone. Well, almost everyone. There is one player on the Blackhawks who has not produced all season. That player is Bryan Bickell. Bickell is in the midst of a horrible season. He has been waived and ultimately demoted to Rockford. In Rockford, Bickell seemed to find his game, recording seven goals and seven assists in 12 games. The Blackhawks then brought Bickell back up to the NHL level after waiving Viktor Tikhonov.

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His AHL success did not translate to NHL success after his recall. Bickell has only recorded two assists since his return to the NHL. In 23 games this season, he has only notched two assists and amassed zero goals. This is Bickell’s lowest point total since coming up to the Blackhawks in 2009-10. In 2009-10, he had four points in 16 games. Now Bickell has been benched in favor of Brandon Mashinter and will have to earn his ice time back. Mashinter has scored more goals (tw0) in fewer games (19) than Bickell.

With Bickell hopefully banished to the bench this season, the Blackhawks seriously need to consider Bickell’s future with the organization. In my opinion, the Blackhawks need to part ways with Bickell via the buyout option. Nobody wants Bickell at $4 million a year, and that includes the Blackhawks. Everyone knows the Blackhawks tried to trade him in the offseason and nobody wanted him. They waived him so anyone could claim him, and nobody claimed him. The buyout is the only option to get Bickell off the Blackhawks.

Now do not misunderstand me. Bickell can still be a productive player, but not at $4 million. If the Blackhawks do buy out Bickell, it would be this summer. Per General Fanger’s buyout calculator, in 2016-17 the Blackhawks would pay $1.5 million and have a salary cap hit of $1 million if they buy out Bickell, saving $3 million against the salary cap. In 2017-18, Bickell’s cap hit would be $1.5 million dollars and the Blackhawks would lose $1.5 million dollars off their cap. That is way better than $4 million for a guy who can’t produce.

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I like Bickell as a person. I cried at the Blackhawks convention during the “What’s Your Goal” panel, when Bickell let Christina wipe tears off on his dress shirt and lay her head on his shoulder. Bickell is a good person and does great things off the ice, including his work in helping dogs find homes

chicago blackhawks
Jan 5, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Chicago won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

. He is just overpaid.

After this season, it is time to end the Bickell era in Chicago. It is very sad but true.

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