For the second time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks have sent down forward Bryan Bickell, assigning him to the Rockford IceHogs.
With his demotion, which comes after he was placed on waivers last week, $950,000 of Bickell’s $4 million salary cap hit will come off the books, but just a shade over $3 million will remain on the team’s salary cap number.
Bickell, who only has two assists so far this season, has been plagued by inconsistency in all areas of his game, and as a result he has fallen out of favor of the coaching staff and front office. He was often scratched from the lineup in recent weeks, and his demotion will likely mean more consistent playing time than he would get at the NHL level.
With Bickell’s departure, it appears that the team has decided that Brandon Mashinter and Richard Panik will remain with the team for the foreseeable future. Panik will likely get a shot at the top line at some point this season (unless Andrew Shaw keeps up his extraordinary play), and Mashinter will get plenty of looks on the fourth line.