Bryan Bickell started his hockey career when he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2004. Now, he will end it there.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh, Bickell will sign a one-day contract with Chicago on Wednesday and officially retire from the NHL.
Bickell was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks from 2007 through 2016. He won three Stanley Cups throughout those years and quickly became a fan favorite after scoring a game-tying goal during Game Six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.
After the 2016 season, the Blackhawks traded Bickell to the Carolina Hurricanes, dumping the contract of a player they thought lost his touch after he started struggling. Unbeknownst to the Blackhawks and Bickell alike, he was suffering from multiple sclerosis, a disease that impacts the central nervous system.
The disease forced Bickell’s career to come to an unexpected halt as he retired at the end of the 2016-17 season. After missing most of the season, Bickell returned for the final four games and scored the first goal in a shootout during his final NHL game.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) April 10, 2017
The NHL presented an emotional tribute video to Bickell during the NHL Awards.
Beautiful Bryan Bickell tribute at the NHL Awards pic.twitter.com/yrPnTBUNOH
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) June 22, 2017
After the video finished, Bickell and his wife Amanda gave an equally touching, teary-eyed speech.
Now Bickell will end his storied career the way it began: in the Windy City.
10/5 update: A day after signing a one-day contract to retire as a Chicago Blackhawk, Bryan Bickell was invited to participate in “One More Shift.”
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 6, 2017
“One More Shift” is an ode to past Blackhawk alumni, allowing fans to recognize them one more time. The invitees skate on the ice in full gear while being announced before the national anthem.
Bickell now joins famous “One More Shift” participants that include Jeremy Roenick, Steve Larmer, Denis Savard, and Tony Amote.
Headline Photo: Jonathan Daniel
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