Bryan Bickell opened up to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times and other reporters tonight for the first time since his announcement that he has multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the nervous system and can cause a wide array of debilitating symptoms. For anyone, the diagnosis would be life-shattering, but for Bickell it came at least as an explanation.
Before I was, like, frustrated in my game and things. But you’re relieved, knowing how I was feeling. Something wasn’t right. … The circumstances kind of suck, but to have it known — knowing you can move on is the biggest thing.
Bickell is determined to get back to the NHL, despite having to undergo intravenous drug treatments monthly. He’s obviously no where near returning, but is taking it one step at a time.
It’s going to take steps. It’s not a sprint, it’s going to be a marathon, and it’s going to take some time to get things right, ideally, to get me back on the ice. That’s what I’m hoping for. … It could be a month, it could be a couple months to get back on the ice.
We wish Bickell well on his recovery, and hope he makes it back to the NHL sooner than later. Here are some other notes from around the league:
- Outdoor games are becoming something of a regularity in the hockey world, with the Maple Leafs and Red Wings set to square off this Sunday in Toronto, and the World Juniors announcing that Canada and the USA will play outside at next year’s tournament in Buffalo. The AHL is getting in on the action, as the Ontario Reign (the Kings’ affiliate) and the Bakersfield Condors (Oilers) will play an outdoor game on January 7th. The teams will have an alumni game the day before, featuring a long list of NHL greats. Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe, Luc Robitaille, Rob Blake and even Bernie Nicholls will play in the event, making it one not to miss if you live in the San Joaquin Valley.
- Amazingly, Team Finland will have to play in the relegation round at this year’s World Junior Championships, despite winning the tournament last year. It’s the first time in the history of the even that a defending champion will have to fight to stay in the event. With the Swiss team beating Denmark today in a shootout, Finland was guaranteed a last place finish in their group. In a surprising move, the team has fired head coach Jukka Rautakorpi and his three assistants mid-tournament. Jussi Ahokas has taken over the coaching duties.