Former Chicago Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell was forced to retire last season after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but on Wednesday, he’ll officially end his career in an entirely appropriate way.
Bickell signed a one-day contract with the Blackhawks, allowing him to retire as a member of the team that drafted him way back in 2004.
“As any professional athlete will tell you, stepping away from the game is extremely difficult especially given my circumstances,” Bickell said in a statement. “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.”
Bickell made his mark as a member of the Blackhawks, racking up nine goals and dishing out eight assists as the team won the Stanley Cup in 2013. He ended up winning three championships with Chicago, as he also was a member of the 2010 and 2015 Stanley Cup winners.
After the 2015-16 season, Bickell and his $4 million cap hit were traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, where he played his final NHL season last year. He was diagnosed with MS during the season, but came back to play a few games late in the campaign, finishing off his career with a shootout goal in the team’s final game.
Now, Bickell will retire as a member of the Blackhawks, and will do so as being the man responsible for one of the greatest moments in team history:
“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,” Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman said in a statement.
Bickell scored 66 goals and racked up 70 assists in 395 career NHL games, with all but one of those goals coming as a member of the Blackhawks.