After what has been a long and tough road back for the Carolina Hurricanes’ Bryan Bickell, he has finally been cleared to play and set to the Charlotte Checkers for a conditioning stint. He’s also been placed on waivers, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sporstnet because he will need longer than the two-weeks allowed on a normal loan. Bickell was diagnosed with Multiple Scleroris back in November, and immediately announced that he wanted to play hockey again and would work to find a way to continue his career. Now, just a few months later he is returning in what is one of the feel-good stories of the year.
Bickell was traded to Carolina as part of a salary dump this summer along with Teuvo Teravainen, the latest victims of the Chicago Blackhawks cap crunches. Bickell was part of all three Stanley Cup winning teams, though he played a small role as a 23-year old in 2010. Known for his high compete level and relentless forecheck, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer says that his goal is to play in the NHL again this season. Coach Bill Peters told Alexander to “not bet against him” in his quest.
For the Hurricanes, this is great news after a morning that saw one of their key players shipped off to Pittsburgh to pursue a Stanley Cup. Ron Hainsey was sent out which will likely leave a leadership hole on the team, one that Bickell could fill admirably. Everyone here at PHR wishes him well in his recovery and hopes to see him on the ice again in the NHL soon.