An emotional Bryan Bickell retires a Hawk

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Bryan Bickell signs one-day contract with Blackhawks and addresses the media 10.04.17 (credit: Scott King)

by Scott King

Former Hawk Bryan Bickell was a part of three championship teams in Chicago before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes prior to the 2016-2017 season. Bickell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November of 2016 and only played in 11 games for Carolina before announcing his retirement.

The forward threw on an Indian Head sweater and addressed the media Wednesday morning to discuss signing a one-day contract with the Blackhawks. The signing was done to ensure Bickell retire a Hawk.

Bickell’s wife Amanda, their two daughters Makayla and Kinslee, and his parents were in attendance for the special moment.

“Hopefully I can keep it together here,” Bickell said before giving an initial statement at the United Center. “I’d like to thank everybody, the Blackhawks, to have the opportunity to finish here where I started, my family, all the media for what you guys have done for my career, John [McDonough] and Al [ Macisaac] Stan [Bowman], and Rocky [Wirtz] to let me live my dream. Truly blessed to be here.”

Bickell had positive things to say about his battle with ms.

“Every day, every month is getting better,” Bickell said. “There’s good days, there’s bad days, but there’s more good than bad. Things are going the right way. The technology and the treatments they come out with every month, ever year, it’s outstanding. Hopefully one day we can find a cure.”

“Bicks’ is a great teammate and a friend,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said. “A family friend, awesome to see him back in the building and [it] should be awesome tomorrow.”

“Was just visiting with Bicks’ and having some good laughs,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. “I said ‘Bicks’, you didn’t have to have that meeting that we normally have here at the start of the season.’ He laughed, he knew exactly what I was going to tell him. It was good visiting with him.

“He looks great, great to see him. I think it was a great signing by us and I’m happy to look back [at] what he’s accomplished with us. We have three great memories and the way he ended last year in Carolina was nice, but I think it will be special tomorrow night to see him out there.”

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