The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they signed forward Bryan Bickell to a one-day contract and that he will officially retire from the National Hockey League as a member of the team. Bickell was a member of three Stanley Cup champion teams (2010, 2013 and 2015) with the Blackhawks and played 384 of his 395 career NHL games with Chicago.
"As any professional athlete will tell you, stepping away from the game is extremely difficult especially given my circumstances," said Bickell. "I'm honored to be retiring a Chicago Blackhawk-a team that has given me and my family so many great memories. I appreciate Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman for allowing me this opportunity."
The 31-year old scored 65 goals and added 70 assists in his 10-year NHL career. He scored a career-high 37 points (17G, 20A) during the 2010-11 season with the Blackhawks. He skated in 75 career Stanley Cup Playoffs games, scoring 20 goals and adding 19 assists in those games. During the 2013 run to the Stanley Cup with Chicago, Bickell appeared in all 23 games, scoring 17 points (9G, 8A). In Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Bickell scored the game-tying goal with 1:16 remaining in the third period. That goal was followed by a Dave Bolland goal just 17 seconds later that clinched the Cup for the Blackhawks.
Originally selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft by Chicago, Bickell played 11 games of the 2016-17 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Bickell scored a shootout goal in his final NHL game on April 9, 2017, helping the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win at Philadelphia.
"We are thankful to Bryan for his accomplishments on the ice and we look forward to hearing his voice in raising awareness for multiple sclerosis as he fights the disease," said Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman.
A native of Bowmanville, Ontario, Bickell announced he had multiple sclerosis on November 12, 2016 while a member of the Hurricanes. He was placed on injured reserve and began receiving treatment for the illness. He returned from injured reserve on April 4 and played four games with Carolina before his final game. Bickell and his wife, Amanda, have two daughters, Makayla and Kinslee.