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Agent on Bickell: ‘His future is likely not with the Blackhawks’

The 29-year-old was assigned to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs on Sunday after going unclaimed on waivers.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Agent Todd Diamond is hoping he can workout a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks for his client Bryan Bickell.

Bickell, who was placed on waivers on Saturday, was assigned to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs on Sunday after going unclaimed.

“If we are watching things with our eyes open, it’s pretty clear that I would say his future is likely not with the Blackhawks,” Diamond told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Hopefully, we can work out a trade. Stan [Bowman] is open to that.

"But making trading these days in the NHL can be a time-consuming process where in the past you could just move bodies around much easier. Now it’s not just a hockey trade, but it’s also a financial trade. Sometimes it just takes time. For some teams, every day counts towards the cap. Sometimes it can take a couple days or it can take months.”

With Bickell in the AHL, the Blackhawks will save $950,000 of his $4 million cap hit. Bickell still has one year remaining on his four-year, $16 million deal.

The 29-year-old has struggled this season collecting two assists and a minus-4 rating while averaging 9:45 of ice time in 23 games.

It’s not Bickell’s first trip to Rockford.

After clearing waivers in October, he appeared in 12 games with the IceHogs scoring seven goals and seven assists.

However, after being recalled in December, Bickell had two assists in 16 games.

“He’s a professional. He comes to work early. He leaves late,” Diamond said. “He works hard. It’s just to take that same attitude to wherever it may be. Obviously we believe he’s an NHL player, and hopefully the future will show that we were absolutely correct. The time with the Blackhawks has been great. Who knows what’s going to happen as we lead up to the trade deadline and playoffs? But Bryan has always been a member of the team and obviously hoped he would be there his entire career. It doesn’t maybe seem like the case right now, but time will tell.”

Originally a second-round pick of the Blackhawks (41st overall) in 2004, Bickell has appeared in 382 regular season games with Chicago over parts of nine seasons scoring 65 goals and 135 points.



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