Bryan Bickell took to Twitter to address fans following his unexpected trade to the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday.
“I’ve been blessed for the last 9 years to be a part of the Blackhawks organization and thankful for all the friends and fans that I made in that time,” he wrote. “Chicago will always be a second home and I will miss you all. Thank you for your support."
Bickell also updated his profile to show he's now a left winger for the Hurricanes.
His wife, Amanda Bickell, also took to social media to speak on their sudden departure.
“I will miss everything about this city (except traffic obviously),” she joked in a note posted to Twitter. “I want everyone to know that our work here is not complete. The Bickell Foundation will continue to do great things here in Chicago. This is our home and were aren’t planning on stopping the fight on ending the misunderstanding of ‘pit pulls’ and helping the abused children of Chicago anytime soon.”
The Blackhawks were desperate to unload the final year of Bickell’s contract from their books, and did just that when they traded him, along with Teuvo Teravainen, to the Hurricanes.
In exchange, the Blackhawks received a second round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, a third round pick in the 2017 draft, and a bit of salary cap breathing room for next season.
“I would like to thank both Bryan and Teuvo for their contributions to the Blackhawks organization,” G.M. Stan Bowman said in a statement. “Both players were drafted by our organization and developed to play important roles on Stanley Cup championship teams. We wish them the best as they continue their careers in Carolina.”
Reports had been swirling that it would be necessary to include Teravainen in a Bickell trade, due to the forward’s large contract for next season. Bickell is owed $4.5 million for next season, the final year of a four-year deal he signed with the Blackhawks in 2013, and although his cap hit is only $4 million, it represented a tough sell on the trade market.