Bryan Bickell began this season being placed on waivers, the Blackhawks’ attempt at a wake-up call for their struggling forward.
On Saturday, he was reportedly placed on them again.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported today that the Blackhawks once again placed Bickell on waivers. Bickell has been a healthy scratch the last four games and has just two assists in 23 games this season.
If Bickell is reassigned to the IceHogs, the Blackhawks (per generalfanager.com) will once again get $950,000 in cap relief; the remaining $3.05 million of his $4 million cap hit would be buried.
When Bickell was placed on waivers in October it was more of a scare tactic – to start, anyway. Bickell began the season with the Blackhawks but was then sent to Rockford in November. During his month-long stint with the IceHogs, Bickell got his game back – he recorded seven goals and seven assists in 12 games.
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The Blackhawks recalled him and he was back in their lineup on Dec. 6 against the Winnipeg Jets. Bickell had a strong outing that game,recording seven hits. But Bickell has just two assists since then, and by mid-January he was struggling once again. His ice time dwindled until Brandon Mashinter replaced him on Sunday against Colorado.
Coach Joel Quenneville talked about Bickell playing very little earlier this month.
“It is frustrating to be in that position, knowing that it’s tough to probably do what you want to do in those type of minutes. But at the same time, the opportunity to get more playing those type of minutes is in place. I think that’s — you’ve got to find the difference, knowing you’ve got to try to regain or get some more opportunity based on performance,” Quenneville said on Sunday. “I find with defense, the better you play with the more you play. Forwards, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do in your role and try to enhance it.”