Blackhawks News

Ex-Chicago Blackhawks Forward Brouwer Is Bickell 2.0

By Sean Fitzgerald
Apr 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) makes a save on a shot from St. Louis Blues right wing Troy Brouwer (36) during the third period at the United Center. St. Louis won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) makes a save on a shot from St. Louis Blues right wing Troy Brouwer (36) during the third period at the United Center. St. Louis won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Former Chicago Blackhawks Forward Troy Brouwer Making An Impact

Former Chicago Blackhawks and current St. Louis Blues Forward Troy Brouwer is playing well in his team’s run to the Western Conference finals. Brouwer’s impressive play in the playoffs got people thinking of a Blackhawks forward who also had a bust-out playoffs right before his free-agent year. That forward, of course, is Bryan Bickell.

Now, people will compare the fact that both Bickell and Brouwer busted out in the playoffs a year before going into free agency and how both players play a physical game. I am here to set the record straight. Brouwer has been a better player than Bickell throughout his career.

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Bickell has never scored more than 37 points in a single season. Brouwer has scored over 40 points three times in his career and had a career high in 2014-15 with 43.  However, after Bickell’s 17 points in the 2012-13 playoffs, he was exponentially overpaid by the Chicago Blackhawks to the tune of $4 million per season.

This is where the Brouwer comparison might be dead on. Every season, some player reaps the benefits of a huge playoff run and get a bloated contract they can never lived up to. The Blackhawks thought they could not live without Bickell, who put up 17 playoff points in the 2013 postseason.

So they paid him the going rate for a power forward with two Stanley Cup championships. The hope was Bickell could live up to his potential.

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The deal seemed to work for the first post-contract playoff run, as Bickell had seven goals and three assists in the 2014 postseason.

And then the collapse happened. Bickell would never be the same and now hampers the already cap-strapped Blackhawks.

Do not get me wrong, Brouwer probably will not fall off a cliff like Bickell did, but he will not live up to his next contract. Brouwer is already 30 years old and has a lot of hits on his body. A team should not make the same mistake with Brouwer like the Blackhawks did with Bickell.

Some team is going to think he can give them 50 points a season and pay him like a 50-point player. Some team is going to think that he is the missing piece from their Stanley Cup run. He is going to give you 37-43 points and 200 hits per season. If a team does overpay Brouwer, hopefully it is not for too long and too much money.

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