RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
"First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family," said Francis. "He will need to take some time to rest in the immediate future, and we will support him as he takes the necessary steps for his health. We ask that his privacy be respected during the process."
"Since the 2015 playoffs, I've been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn't right," said Bickell. "Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love."
Bickell, 30, has scored one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season. The Bowmanville, Ont., native was acquired by Carolina on June 15 from Chicago, where he was a member Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Bickell (6'4", 223 lbs.) was drafted by Chicago in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft, and has scored 66 goals and earned 70 assists in 391 NHL career regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.