The 2015 offseason has been a tumultuous one for Chicago Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell, as questions about his future with the team continue to swirl, but his health has also been an ongoing concern as he prepares for the new season.
According to Chicago Tribune reporter Chris Kuc, Bickell is still dealing with symptoms of vertigo, which first surfaced during the Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup championship earlier this summer:
Bryan Bickell said he still has vertigo symptoms. Expects to be able to control them well enough to play. #Blackhawks
— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) September 18, 2015
While the news that Bickell feels confident that he can play is obviously good, the revelation that he is still dealing with symptoms provides clarity on why the Blackhawks have opted to bring in so many wingers during the offseason.
Jeremy Morin, Marko Dano, Andrew Desjardins, Viktor Tikhonov, and Corey Tropp have all come over to the Blackhawks via trade or free agency, and Daniel Paille and Tomas Kopecky are both in camp with the Blackhawks on a tryout basis.
The symptoms could also help explain why the Blackhawks were unable to trade the winger over the offseason. Due to salary cap constraints, the Blackhawks had to say goodbye to several veteran players, including Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg, but Bickell and his $4 million cap hit remain on the roster.