Reports have surfaced tonight that Bryan Bickell will sign a one day contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday to retire as a Blackhawk.
The career of Bryan Bickell had many twists and turns, but I will always remember him as Playoff Bickell which I was perfectly happy to have on the Blackhawks roster.
Bickell had two overtime game winners in his career which started his legend that he was a playoff gamer. And if you ask me, I would much rather have a playoff gamer than a guy that has great regular seasons and disappears during the playoffs (See Artemi Panarin for starters)
Bickell’s first playoff magic was in 2012 when he scored the game winner against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Blackhawks didn’t win that series, but in the following playoff season, Bickell scored the all important game winner against the Minnesota Wild in Game #1 that helped keep the Wild from getting any momentum. And it’s one of my favorite Pat Foley calls of an overtime winner. Everytime I think of this goal I hear Foley yelling “Brian Bickell in overtime!!”
Patrick Kane won the 2013 Conn Smythe Award, but I really don’t think that the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup without Bickell’s huge efforts throughout the entire playoff run.
Of course his biggest goal was in that magical 17 Seconds in Boston to win the 2013 Stanley Cup. Bickell was right there in front of the net to bang in the goal from the sweet pass from Jonathan Toews.
After the Hawks won the Cup, they felt they needed to pay Bickell 4 million dollars a year which drove fans nuts because he never was a very good regular season player. The problem was he never really regained playoff Bickell status either, and during the 2015 Stanley Cup run Bickell sat out most of the games with what was diagnosed as Vertigo.
During the 2016 offseason, Bickell and
were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes where he was finally correctly diagnosed with M.S. It was very shocking to hear the news that everyone was so hard on Bickell, and yet he was being sabotaged by his own body with M.S. The way everyone cheered for Bickell at the NHL Awards was amazing and the tribute video was sensational.
So hearing the news from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune that Bickell will sign a one day contract and retire as a Chicago Blackhawk fills me up with a lot of emotion, and it makes me happy that the Blackhawks are such a great franchise.
Bickell is a Champion and will leave his NHL career as a Blackhawk, and I hope he battles M.S. for a very long time! Thanks for all the memories Bickell!