|Born||March 9, 1986 |
Orono, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||233 lb (106 kg; 16 st 9 lb)|
|NHL team||Carolina Hurricanes|
|NHL Draft||41st overall, 2004|
Bryan Bickell (born March 9, 1986) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). He won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, and played in four early playoff games during the team's run to the 2010 Stanley Cup championship.
Bryan spent nearly 10 years with the Blackhawks organization before being traded to the Hurricanes before the 2016–17 NHL season. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis later that year and retired from playing hockey at the end of the season.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Amateur Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Bryan grew up playing minor hockey in his hometown of Orono, Ontario for the Leafs rep program before playing AAA for the Central Ontario Wolves organisation.
For his Bantam season, he was moved to the Toronto Red Wings of the GTHL for one season before being drafted in the 2nd round (36th overall) in the 2002 OHL Priority Selection by the Ottawa 67's.
Bryan was a member of the Bantam All-Ontario champions Toronto Red Wings with future Chicago Blackhawk teammate Dave Bolland.
Professional Playing Career[edit | edit source]
The Blackhawks drafted Bryan in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft with the 41st overall pick.
After signing a three-year entry-level contract in 2006, he left the Ontario Hockey League to play for the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL) during the 2006–07 season. He later made his NHL debut on April 5, 2007 where he scored his first goal against the Detroit Red Wings.
Bryan spent the majority of the next three seasons playing in the AHL. The Blackhawks recalled him for the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. He appeared in four post-season games with one assist and a plus-3 rating. Bryan and the Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. He received a ring from the Blackhawks, but his name was not inscribed on the Cup.
Bryan became a mainstay on the Blackhawks during the 2010–11 season. During his first full year in the NHL, he recorded a career-high 17 goals and 20 assists in 78 appearances. His offensive production dropped during the 2011–12 campaign, where he only tallied nine goals and 15 assists.
Bryan was highly productive during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring nine goals and eight assists during the post-season. He recorded the game-tying goal during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks later scored the go-ahead goal 17 seconds later to win the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks awarded Bryan's strong post-season performance with a four-year, $16 million contract.
Bryan tallied 14 goals and 14 assists during the regular season while appearing in 80 regular season games in the 2014-15 NHL season. His production declined in the postseason, where he recorded only five assists.
He was scratched from the team’s lineup for two games of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals due to health-related issues The Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, giving Bryan his third Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks unsuccessfully attempted to trade Bryan prior to the 2015–16 NHL season The team initially waived him but reinserted him into their roster as the season started. Bryan was unable to consistently perform due to health-related issues and spent much of the season with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. He skated in 25 games for the Blackhawks and recorded two assists. He played in 47 contests for the IceHogs where he scored 15 goals and 16 assists.
During the 2016 off-season, Bryan's $4-million salary cap-hit posed a serious problem to the Blackhawks, who were struggling to stay below the NHL's salary cap. The team again shopped him to other teams, but few teams seemed to be interested in him and his $4 million cap hit.
The Blackhawks eventually traded Bryan along with Teuvo Teravainen at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick (Originally acquired from the NY Rangers, Artur Kayumov) and a 2017 third-round pick.
The Hurricanes also agreed to accept Bryan's cap-hit and remaining contract. He scored one goal in seven games for the Hurricanes before experiencing health issues again. The Hurricanes announced that Bryan had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and placed him on injured reserve on November 12, 2016.
In January of 2017, Bryan began practicing with the Hurricanes again. The Hurricanes assigned him to the Charlotte Checkers for conditioning on February 24, 2017. He returned to the Hurricanes on April 5, 2017 and skated in his first NHL game since leaving for MS treatment in November.
On April 8, 2017, Bryan announced his retirement from playing professional hockey.
On April 9, 2017, he played the final game of his career, scoring the only shootout goal of his career in the Hurricanes' 4−3 win against the Flyers. He concluded his NHL career with 66 goals and 70 assists over 395 NHL games. He also tallied 20 goals and 19 assists in 75 postseason games.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|2000–01||Toronto Red Wings||GTHL||65||78||62||140||20||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Toronto Red Wings||GTHL||65||31||41||72||76||—||—||—||—||—|
Accolades[edit | edit source]
- Stanley Cup (Chicago Blackhawks; 2013 & 2015)
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
On August 3, 2013, Bryan married his longtime girlfriend, Amanda Caskenette. They have two daughters, Kinslee and Makayla.
He and his wife established the "Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation" which helps rescue abused pit bulls.
Health Issues[edit | edit source]
Bryan began experiencing symptoms of vertigo that forced him to miss two games during the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals. He initially believed the ailment was caused by an infected tooth. His agent later commented that Bryan was suffering from vestibular issues which hindered his performance during the 2015–16 season.
In November 2016, Bryan began experiencing an unexplained pain in his shoulder and leg that caused him to miss multiple games. Doctors later diagnosed Bryan with multiple sclerosis. He commented on his health by stating, "Since the 2015 playoffs, I've been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn't right."
Ron Francis (the Hurricanes' general manager) stated that Bryan would take an indefinite amount of time off from hockey to receive treatment for his condition.
While Bryan ultimately returned to Hurricanes towards the end of the 2016–17 season, he announced he would retire from playing hockey to focus on his MS treatment.