Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Blackhawks [Print without images]

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Bickell open to discount to return

By Scott Powers

Bryan Bickell
Bryan Bickell enters free agency coming off a stellar run in the playoffs with 17 points.
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell said Thursday he'd like to resign with the Blackhawks and would consider giving them a hometown discount.

"You've got to do what makes you happy," Bickell said Thursday at the United Center. "I know there are a lot of good teams around this league, and there are a lot of teams you won't have as much fun if I stayed here. This is a great city. I enjoy it here. I got drafted here. I think this is a second home for me. We're going to work on something and hopefully it works out for the best.

"Yeah, definitely (a hometown discount is possible). This is a great team. We have won two Cups in four years, and there's going to be many more. We have a great core of guys. It starts with the coaching and up in the office and the team. It's a great feeling to be a part of it."

Bickell, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 5, made $600,000 in the 2013 season and is expected to be worth $3 million or more a season on the free agent market after producing nine goals and eight assists during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run.


Bickell said his agent and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman have had discussions already.

"There have been talks with my agent and Stan," Bickell said. "I know they're going to work on something. It's kind of out of my hands now. They're going to do what they do. We'll just see how it goes from there.

"It is flattering (to receive the free agency publicity), but it's in all the best interest for me and my family. What I want to do, you could say the ball is in my hand. We're going to work out something that hopefully makes us both happy."

Bowman will have $7,044,872 of cap space after announcing Thursday the organization will use their two compliance buyouts on Steve Montador and Rostislav Olesz, according to CapGeek.com.

"We certainly want to keep him here," Bowman said on Thursday. "It's a puzzle you have to put together and try to work it out. I think he wants to be here. I know he's said that publicly. We certainly want him back, so we're going to do whatever we can to make that happen."

Bickell suffered a knee injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Kings and played through the injury in the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins. He is unsure whether he will require surgery after the season. He said he was going to meet with the team's doctor on Thursday.

"(Playing through the injury) was difficult, but you just had to get used to it," Bickell said. "You want to play and help the team win any way. I know if I couldn't go, I wouldn't play, but I felt comfortable enough to play and help the team."

Bickell has nine goals and 14 assists in 48 regular season games this season. He has 40 goals and 50 assists in 220 regular season games with the Blackhawks since the 2006-2007 season.