Former Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell scored on his final NHL play, giving all hockey fans an emotional moment to remember
You can’t make this stuff up, folks. You just can’t. Former Chicago Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell played in his final NHL game on Sunday night in Philadelphia as the Carolina Hurricanes took on the Flyers in what was supposed to be a meaningless game for both teams. Far from it, as it would turn out.
With the game tied at 3 through regulation and overtime, the two teams would head to the shootout and the Hurricanes sent Bickell to center ice.
Let the video tell the rest:
I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.
In November, Bickell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system. Bickell left the NHL as real life took a front-row seat.
But in late February, Bickell made his return to hockey after being cleared by doctors. He joined the Charlotte Checkers and on April 5, Bickell made his return to the Hurricanes’ NHL roster. After a game last week, Bickell announced he would retire from hockey following the team’s last two regular-season games.
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Bickell was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2004 NHL Draft. He played four seasons in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals and Rockford IceHogs before making his full-time jump to the NHL during the 2010-11 season with the Blackhawks.
Bickell played in 395 career NHL games, 384 of them coming in a Blackhawks sweater. He tallied 136 career points, 135 coming with the Blackhawks, and one goal this season coming with the Hurricanes. Bickell was instrumental in both the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championship runs for the Blackhawks and had a case for the Conn Smythe in 2013.
There is a ton of uncertainty ahead for Bickell and his family, but one thing is for sure: He was welcomed into the Hurricanes family warmly this season and will always have a place in Blackhawks history.
It’s hard to dislike a guy like Bickell, and whatever you thought of his contract situation while he was in Chicago, he gave all he could to the franchise and the community, and from all of us at Blackhawk Up and from the Blackhawks fan community, we wish all the best to Big Bicks moving forward.