Bryan Bickell is officially retiring as a member of the Blackhawks.
Bickell signed a one-day contract with the Blackhawks on Wednesday morning to bring an official end to his decade-long NHL career.
“As any professional athlete will tell you, stepping away from the game is extremely difficult especially given my circumstances,” Bickell said in the announcement. “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, a member of the Carolina Hurricanes last season, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year, announcing the diagnosis in November. He spent much of the 2016-17 campaign on injured reserve as he began receiving treatment. Bickell played four games at the end of the season to wrap up his playing career, scoring a shootout goal in his final game.
Bickell, drafted by the Blackhawks in 2004, was a member of the 2010, 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup teams and played 384 of his 395 career games with the team. He starred during the Blackhawks' 2013 Stanley Cup run, scoring nine goals and recording eight assists in 23 playoff games, most notably scoring the game-tying goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins just 17 seconds before Dave Bolland's game-winning, Cup-clinching goal.
“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,” Bowman said in the announcement.
Watch a live stream of Bickell's press conference starting at 10:30 a.m. right here.
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Tracey Myers and Pat Boyle discuss Nick Schmaltz returning to the Blackhawks line-up on Wednesday night and which player is looking forward most to his return?
They also weigh in on Corey Crawford’s incredible start to the season and why he’s the major reason why the Hawks begin the week in first place in the Central.
They also discuss who is the biggest Hawks rivalry right now, which new defenseman has impressed the most and how is Connor Murphy dealing with being a healthy scratch at times this season?
Plus, they discuss someone other than Nick Schmaltz returning to work on Wednesday night.
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
Eddie Olczyk will return to the broadcast booth for Wednesday's Blackhawks-Blues game, according to USA Today's Kevin Allen.
The news comes six weeks after the Chicago legend began chemotherapy for colon cancer. And although he made a brief, emotional return on Oct. 7 -- putting on the headset to join Pat Foley for a moment during intermission -- he will provide color commentary for the entire game on Wednesday. He'll call the rivalry matchup alongside Doc Emrick on NBCSN.
Olczyk, who grew up in Palos Heights and attended Brother Rice, will take the mic again the following night as the Blackhawks welcome the Edmonton Oilers to the United Center. As for the rest of the season, he plans to work when his health allows.
“We have some dates that we have highlighted and hopefully I will be strong to do the job,” Olczyk told USA Today. “If I am not feeling good, I just have to be honest with everyone and tell them I can’t do it.”
It'll be nice to see Edzo back at work, providing dynamite analysis and passing along tips to all those young hockey players out there.