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Chicago Blackhawks Alum Bryan Bickell Returns To The NHL

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Apr 4, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell (29) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) skate after the puck in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell (29) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) skate after the puck in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks Alum Bryan Bickell was recalled by the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. This was a huge victory for Bryan Bickell since Bickell was diagnosed with MS back in November 2016. The diagnose  gave Bickell some clarity on what was

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affecting his play.

He had been dealing with the lingering effects of the disease since the 2015 playoffs.

Sadly it affected his play, and had him spend the majority of his season last year with the Blackhawks in Rockford. Bickell would be traded to Carolina in a salary dump, and he would appear in 8 games before testing revealed his condition. After the diagnose, Bickell briefly considered retiring from the NHL, but decided that he still wanted to continue to play the game he loved.

After getting with his doctors and consulting with former Minnesota Wild Goalie Josh Harding, He began skating with the Carolina Hurricanes. After skating with the team for several weeks, he was reassigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. 

He appeared in 10 games with the Checkers recording scoring 1 goal and recording 3 assists.

By Chance I saw Bickell Play in Chicago

I happened to be at the last game in which Bickell played for the Charlotte Checkers. It was against the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. I was very excited to see Bickell back on the ice live and in person. I pointed him out to everyone in my section, and I explained to my friend’s three year old nephew that he used to be play for the Chicago Blackhawks, and was trying to come back from being “sick”. I watched him the whole game and was tweeting his picture out to other Blackhawks Fans.

I had been very critical of his play in Chicago before his trade to Carolina. I was struck very hard when he made the announcement about his condition. In his last AHL game against the Wolves, He appeared to be playing like a regular NHL player on rehab stint. If you hadn’t know about his condition, you would have never known what he had been through to get that moment.

The Wolves would win the game 5-3 and Bickell would be a -1 with one shot on a goal. The next day he would be recalled to the NHL. I was very happy for Bickell to relieve his dream once more.

Bryan Bickell’s return

It seems only fitting that Bickell returned in Minnesota. Bickell jumped started his epic Stanley Cup playoff run in 2013-14 with a game winner against the Wild. It would also be fitting that Josh Hardening who helped Bickell with perspective had played for Minnesota during his career.

We, as fans, should drink in these last few games of this season for the Carolina Hurricanes. It could be the last time we see Bickell in the NHL. He is set to be a free agent after this season.

Bickell should be celebrated as returning hero by all NHL fans.

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