As the countdown to the Chicago Blackhawks 2018-19 season continues, we’ll take a look at one player who best wore the same number as there are days left until October 4 when the season kicks off against the Ottawa Senators.
The Chicago Blackhawks season is now under a month away. This is quite the accomplishment for Blackhawks fans to have finally made it here as we’ve endured the longest off-season in recent memory.
With 30 days to go yesterday, we talked about Ed Belfour, one of the greatest to wear no. 30 in Chicago Blackhawks history.
On day 29 we’ll be diving into one of 12 past ‘Hawks to wear no. 29.
Who else could it be other than 2013 Stanley Cup hero, Bryan Bickell?
Chicago Blackhawks’ Bryan Bickell
Bickell wrote an article for the Players Tribune titled “Grinder” in which he detailed his playing career and life before and after hockey. If you haven’t read it before, I highly suggest doing so.
That said, the overwhelming theme is that through all of his life despite whatever challenges have come his way, Bickell has gotten through them the same way.
Grinding: Being an equipment guy for the Ottawa Senators and doing the team’s laundry (including future teammate’s Marian Hossa) and filling their water bottles for high school credit.
Grinding: Fighting through the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s all while trying to make a dream come true.
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Grinding: Tearing your MCL during Game 5 against the Los Angelas Kings during the 2013 Western Conference Finals. And, rather than staying in the locker room or getting help from a trainer, stealing a knee brace out of Marian Hossa’s locker (which Bryan described as “stinky”) without notifying anyone of the injury, or the remedy. Then, fixing up the ill-fitted brace with hockey tape to ensure it’d do its’ job (at least in some capacity)
Grinding: Winning that game in double overtime to win the series.
Moral of the story: Yeah, Bryan Bickell doesn’t give up.
Bryan spent three and a half seasons in the minors before sticking around in the NHL for good in 2010-11. In that year, Bickell put up a career high 37 points (17 G, 20 A). In addition to that stellar rookie year, Bickell scored a goal on his first shot in his first shift in the National Hockey League.
Not too shabby for a grinder.
Bickell would go on to play a crucial role on the 2013 Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks team. So much so that Coach Joel Quenneville trusted him when the club was in dire straights; down 2-1 with under two minutes to go in Game 6 of the Cup final.
We’ve all seen the video countless times, but this time I want you to watch Bick’s face after scoring. Pure warrior.
It would’ve been nice if Bickell’s career could’ve ended right there. Unfortunately, that would not be the case.
“There was no denying it” Bickell wrote in his Players Tribune piece. “Something was wrong.”