Blackhawks Activate Bryan Bickell

On Monday, the Blackhawks activated Bryan Bickell off injured reserve, and reassigned forward Jeremy Morin to Rockford.

bickell

Bickell was injured in Denver on Nov. 19, and has six points (five goals, one assist) in 22 games this season. Morin has five points (one goal, four assists) and 30 penalty minutes in 15 games in the NHL this year.

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27 Responses to Blackhawks Activate Bryan Bickell

  1. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I hope Bickell can knock the rust off quickly, because this team can use what he brings to the table at LW. That said, I was very disappointed with his start to the season before getting hurt. I hope sitting in the press box these past several weeks has sobered him up to what his true role on this team is all about. That means getting his ass in front of the net. That means finishing his checks. That means playing with the motor always running. I like Bickell and was glad he came back on a new contract, but he must dial it up because how he played to start the season was, to be honest, awful.

    Morin hops on the Rockford shuttle again. He did nothing much to show he belonged on his latest upteenth stint with the team. Pirri and Morin will continue to serve as decent insurance at Rockford. I imagine both will become ex-Hawks next offseason and a couple of new faces will join the Rockford shuttle brigade. Neither will be much of a loss. I get it that the mere mention of Pirri and Morin strikes a nerve with the peanut gallery around here. I for the life of me don’t get that because neither is much of an NHL player. It’s Jimmy Hayes all over again. If you cried the day Curt Frasier or Adam Burish became an ex-Hawk, then maybe I can understand your bizarre infatution with Pirri and Morin. But not really.

  2. JS says:

    Sigh, this guy.

    Pirri and Morin have no future in the league. And with the way he talks about Nordstrom, you’d have to think he will be a perennial Selke candidate. Even though it’s statistically proven that the second line is more productive with Pirri in the middle than Handzus… but that doesn’t matter because his opinion counts more than actual facts because he’s been watching hockey for 50 years!

    Anyway, it will be nice to see the full boat without a defender playing forward. I’m going to assume Saad goes back to 2LW and Versteeg plays 3RW.

    Sharp-Toews-Hossa
    Saad-Handzus-Kane
    Bickell-Shaw-Versteeg
    Bollig-Kruger-Smith

    I’d like to see Kostka get some more time so they can figure out if they can move one of the 8 defensemen. It would be nice to have the flexibility to bring up a kid when someone is nursing a boo boo or Handzus gets a flare up of old.

  3. AJ says:

    I hate Handzus at 2C so much. There is zero rational justification for it. The only reason(s) to do it is “intangibles” or “veteran savvy” or crap like that.

    Tough to justify breaking up the first line at this point but Saad-Toews-Kane and Sharp-Kooga-Hossa makes some sense in my brain.

  4. Mike says:

    Well this was easy to see coming, Morin back to Rockford.

    Rufus, you are wrong about both Pirri and Morin. In 24 games Pirri has more goals (6) than Kruger (4 in 36 games), Smith (4 in 29 games), Bollig (3 in 36), Zues (3 in 19), Versteeg (2 in 18), Brookbank has 1 goal (whatever) and Bickell has 5 goal and pitifully 1 assist in 22 games. What makes Pirri so bad Rufus?

    As for Morin, you have a better argument. However, he is going to score 20 goals a year for somebody. I believe he was making pretty good progress. He has over 30 shots on goal in 15 games, not bad for 6-7 minutes a game. He gets open and has had some legit scoring chances. They will start going in.

    Bollig is a full season, full shift forward with a stat line .22 points per game and a +6. Morin, with pitiful time is .33 points per with a +2 and Pirri is .46 points per with a +6. Lastly Rufus, tell me how Zues, Bollig, or Brookbank make better forwards than Morin or Pirri.

  5. Sr. Brad says:

    First off, that’s funny JS…Handzus getting a flare up of old…the sad thing is, I’ve witnessed it at least 3 times so far this year…

    Second, I agree Rufus…I like Bicks too, and he has been underwhelming this year, I don’t mean so much about goals/points…as you said, its his lack of consistent “big” game…now that he’s healed and rested, he needs to bring it the rest of the year and start earning that contract…the same contract that restricts us from fielding a full roster of 12 forwards at times…

    I think Bicks coming back is HUGE for the Hawks because Kane finally gets Saad full time and I have been dying to see that 3rd line of Shaw, Bicks and Steeger…its the perfect mix…2 muckers, a pounder, a finisher…they could become deadly…

    But when you look at JS’s roster the only glaring thing that stands out is Handzus…how does he rate, EVER, to be centring these two wingers…what Kane has accomplished this year becomes even more amazing considering Zus has been his predominant centre…this is exactly why he and Pirri should be splitting time…look at Pirri’s stats and they stand out in a positive way, not so much with Zus…

    Rufus, with Pirri and Morin, we don’t agree and that’s fine, because at least here you are respectful and are simply stating an opinion…you have lots of good hockey observations and are interesting to read, but I have always disliked anyone who is disrespectful of the players, especially ours…Pirri and Morin are good kids and both are going to have NHL careers…so we should all wish them the best…neither was given a fair shake in Chicago…

  6. ebonyraptor says:

    I’m closing in on the geezer stage of live and been cheering for the Blackhawks since before there were more than 6 teams in the league – but that doesn’t mean I know more about hockey that some wet behind the ears whippersnapper. I’m as perplexed as many of my fellow posters as to the reasons Q has determined that Pirri and Morin do not fit on this team or at the very least given them more games and TOI to make a judgement.

    But I’m not privy to the behind the scenes stuff that may be factoring in to these decisions. For all I know Pirri and Morin may have been told what areas in their game need to be improved and the coaching staff isn’t seeing the effort to improve in those areas. Or maybe it’s a personality conflict or any number of things. It doesn’t matter.

    What does matter is that Q doesn’t want Pirri or Morin on this team. His reasons are irrelevent because the truth is that Pirri and Morin could get abducted by aliens and it would matter very little to the Blackhawks organization and their ability to compete for the Stanley Cup this and future seasons. Obviously, they have some value and since both are still RFA hopefully the Hawks can get something for them by trading them.

    As for Bickell, I’m optimistic that he will play better than he started the season – having had the reset button pressed, so to speak.

  7. wall says:

    26 really has played best w/ 81/10
    so-

    20/19/88
    29/65/23

  8. wall says:

    even better-

    29/19/88
    10/26/81
    20/65/23

    I like how 65/20 have looked together… I also like how 23 sees 88 on the ice.

    The key is 29- He HAS to be better!!

  9. Negzz says:

    First, tip of the hat to Zues for his contribution to the Hawks 2012-13 Cup run, he was a valuable and important piece in the circle and a big body for the opposing bangers to have to deal with in the xtra physical playoffs. I’m no a hater and like 29, he may yet again prove to be a key playoff type of asset more so than reg season. That said, have to agree that 26 appear noticeably slower and his FO % isn’t so great either. As such, and particularly in view of Krugers improvement at the dot (and since Joel IS going to play Zues), I’d like to see a bit of switchroo at C2/C4 in JS’s lines as follows:

    Sharp-Toews-Hossa
    Saad-Kruger-Kane
    Bickell-Shaw-Versteeg
    Bollig-Handzus-Smith

    Logic: 16 can keep up with 88/20, is responsible defensively, likes to dish it and is doing well at the dot. 26 adds size to 4L while Smith and Bollig serve as the energy guys.. Either way, assuming 29 picks it up after some rest, the 3L is going to be fun to watch once they get it going. Only thing that can beat the Hawks in 7 gm series is the Hawks (and bad goaltending.)

  10. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Goals, assists and plus minus only tell a fraction of how a role player performs. Yet the peanut gallery forever wants to compare scoring metrics for Pirri and Morin versus Zeus, Bollig, etc. It’s non sensical. Pirri can’t skate all that well and has forever been inconsistent and unreliable in two way play. Morin is flat out limited and doesn’t add value.

    They are shuttle players. Or if they are lucky players who get to go play for an irrelevant shit team like the Florida Panthers.

    Q? A bias against developing young talent? A HOF coach with 2 Cups? A coach who has facilitated the arrival of Crawfors, Niemi, Raanta Hjalmarsson, Leddy, Saad, Shaw, Smith, Bollig, Kruger?

    Bullshit.

  11. Sr. Brad says:

    His 2 Cup wins are with the Chicago Blackhawks…the model pro sports franchise with more talent than perhaps any other pro sports team than perhaps the Miami Heat…its all perspective Rufus…Q’s a great bench coach and he will always be…

  12. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    You are dismissive of Q at every turn. If it’s not a subliminal jab then it’s denigrating him by labeling Q a bench coach. I disagree completely. You are entitled to your shallow simplistic opinion. I know it gnaws at you that he shits all over your affection for Pirri, Morin, et al.

    Q has been essential to this franchise winning two Cups and becoming a powerhouse. Daryl Sutter? Savvy? Keenan? Hitchcock? Torts? None would have gotten the same results with the roster evolution of the past 5 years. And Scotty and Stan know this.

  13. Morrison says:

    Wall- I like those for playoffs. Even if we go to that when we need/want a spark/another level mid-series like we did before.

    I want to see 3rd line get rolling… during the season now that we have everybody. Nothing against Stals, but 20/23 will be better for 3rd line in playoffs. Love getting Versteeg.

    Also, nothing against Moe or Pier but we have several prospects (24, 60, etc.) coming in the near future that compliment our core better.

  14. Morrison says:

    Very good point about behind the scene things people are not aware about…

  15. Pete says:

    I read an interview where the coach of St. Louis (Hitchcock) stated that the Hawks have great depth and that the rest of the league is trying to copy that formula. He specifically mentioned having Handzus available on the roster as a big positive example of the Hawks depth. I was critical of Handzus last year up until he saved the Hawks in Detroit during the playoffs. I still think he is old and slow, but perhaps he is a positive for the team unless Hitchcock is playing mind games.

  16. Cam says:

    “A coach who has facilitated the arrival of Crawfors, Niemi, Raanta Hjalmarsson, Leddy, Saad, Shaw, Smith, Bollig, Kruger? ”

    I like Quenneville more than some but he had little to do with many of those names. Raanta’s up only because of Khabibulin’s injury.

    Niemi came up only because of Huet’s incompetence. It was either him or Crawford.

    Since when is Q a Leddy proponent? Leddy is occasionally benched and plays few minutes most nights.

    Saad got a chance only because of Carcillo’s injury. After looking great with Toews, Q has now put Saad on the third line this year.

    Smith only got a shot after the injuries to Bickell and Shaw. Again, someone had to come up.

    Q certainly likes Kruger and has a strange obsession with Bollig, I’ll give you that.

  17. Cam says:

    Hey, there are two Cams on here these days. How do you do, sir?

    Interesting chatter, as usual, but especially when people are disagreeing with each other civilly. It’s a good time to be a Hawks fan — remember, we are leading the NHL in points at the moment (yeah yeah games in hand, I know). However, the fact remains that we’re over a quarter of the way through another great season. Let’s go Hawks!

  18. ebonyraptor says:

    Is there really a debate about whether Q is a good head coach? Probably a HHOF coach? Really? He just tied for 4th all-time on the victories list. Does anyone seriously think he just stumbled and bumbled and lucked his way into that many victories? I question some of his decisions but I don’t question that he knows a whole lot more than anyone posting on this message board about what it takes to win games and championships in the NHL.

    That doesn’t mean he does everything roght and makes all the right decisions, and it doesn’t mean he’s above questioning. But to deny that he is one of the best coaches to ever coach in the NHL is to deny the facts.

  19. JS says:

    Rufus- What limiting factors does Morin have? He’s a pretty good skater that attacks the net and finds open ice. He had countless chances to bury goals and got stoned by some pretty good saves. Shooting percentages balance out and his production would have gone up dramatically once it did.

    I’ve mentioned countless times how the Shaw line with Morin completely outplays the Shaw line with Brookbank(or really anyone else they have played there, including your future Selke winner, Nordstrom). Advanced hockey statistics exist and if you choose to ignore them, you can hang out with Toronto with all of the success they are having. I’m not talking about points or plus minus, I’m talking about chances generated and zone control. Morin has been a beast in the offensive zone and that line was dominating possession.

    Same thing applies to Pirri on the second line. I agree he isn’t a wonderful skater… but he is a MUCH better skater than Handzus. That line also played better when Pirri was there. They generated more chances and scored more goals. Again, look at Kane’s production with Handzus on his line. These are facts that can not be denied.

    Again, I don’t want Handzus off the team. I think he has a very important role… but it isn’t as a second line center next to Patrick Kane and Versteeg/Saad. It hurts their production and doesn’t make them any better in the defensive zone.

  20. JS says:

    And as far as Q goes. He’s a Hall of Fame coach based on his Wins and Cups alone. But that doesn’t mean he makes the correct decisions all of the time. Think of how many times he was out thinking himself last year. His reluctance to keep 29/19/88 together in the Final almost cost the Hawks the Cup. His inability to find a coach to fix a power play with 4 future Hall of Famers. His inability to maintain a consistent Penalty Kill from one year to the next… I can go on.

  21. ebonyraptor says:

    Yes, but then he did. This is a bottom line world and final results are what matters and the final results have been pretty good.

  22. Mike says:

    No one has ever said that line stats are the best judgement of a player. However, they are important. Rufus, like JS says, I too do not want Zues, Bollig or Brookbank off the team. The premiss is that statistically Pirri and Morin are better and intangibly Pirri and Morin are also better, except maybe for Zues. Rufus, If you had to fill 3 forward roster spots and these 5 were your only choices who would they be. For me they would be Morin, Pirri and Zues.

  23. Sr. Brad says:

    ER, where’s the debate? Are you, like Rufus, reading between the lines, imagining things??? Everyone here, me included, have all congratulated Q on a job well done…and to Rufus, there isn’t a HIGHER COMPLIMENT then to call a hockey HC a great bench coach…that’s what Babcock is…that’s what Scotty Bowman was…for you to read this as some kind of insult speaks little of your hockey vernacular…you don’t like me, so you attack what I say, even though it actually supports some of your points…

    I have high praise for Q and his team Defence approach…I played hockey for a long time and have coached for many years…team D is what wins championships which I have been lucky enough to be a part of…

    Q is NOT a GM and never will be…he, as a HC, needs to win now…that’s the way of it in the NHL…there is no patience with this league…if you go into a long, in season slump, you might not have a job at the end of it…look at Q just 2 years ago…with our long losing streak towards the end of the season…he was 1 perhaps 2 more losses away from losing his job and not having another chance at a 2nd Cup…this is why NHL coaches “side” with the veterans and have little patience for rookies…some more than others…Q has ALWAYS been a “play the vets” coach…and it has worked for him and it has hurt him…Bowman’s job in Chicago is to ensure that Q has the talent to win with now, but to also manage the roster and the Cap in such a way that Q must play some of the youth…why do you think that Bowman went out and got Handzus at the deadline last year…because Zus could help us with his experience and his F/O potential and NOT threaten a roster spot for a rookie in the long term…and yet what has happened Rufus??? Q has pushed Zus hard to play every night in a spot where he DOES NOT BELONG to keep a rookie out of the lineup…seem consistent with what I have been saying???

    Q has NOT been the driving force to develop any of the players you mentioned…he took them and used them, eventually, because HE HAD NO OTHER CHOICE…or do you forget Dan Carcillo starting game 1 on the first line with Toews against LA??? And before you attempt to immortalize anyone, including Q, remember in 2010, the year of our first Cup win…Q could get lineups to “work” in his eyes, and solicited the help of not only his assistants, but Stan Bowman to suggest combinations that might go well together…

    Q is an important part of the team and family in Chicago…which is why we win…from top to bottom everyone pulls their weight in this organization as well as this team…we win because our 4th line contributes significantly to our victories…not because of anyone player or anyone coach…its a team game and Q is a big part of this team.

    Is that denigrating Q in anyway? Does that hurt your feelings? Why don’t you stop focusing on what I have to say and start enjoying life and being a Hawk’s fan…it really doesn’t get any better than this…

  24. AJ says:

    Haha, Q is a good coach who has coached good teams his entire head coaching career.

    The STL teams he coached were stacked and arguably could have won something other than a presidents trophy. The Colorado teams were towards the twilight of their winning days but still fairly respectable. And the latest iteration of the Blackhawks has obviously been stacked in terms of talent.

    Don’t buy the two different teams thing. Been the same system the past 6 years built around the same players for better or worse regardless of roster with little adjustment along the way.

    In terms of getting player buy in and execution over the course of the season and during the playoffs he does a spectacular job. It is quite impressive. In terms of making adjustments and dealing with the mistakes greener players make he is not as strong.

    Either way HOF coach but doesn’t make immune to criticism or questioning. Would be neat to get a look at some analysis beyond cliches from the beat as well as the staff.

  25. Phil says:

    Good news that Bicks is back. Q can now roll 4 very good lines consistently which will be tough on other teams to match. Hawks 3rd and 4th lines I believe are what separates them from almost every team in the NHL.

    Back to Bickell. I really hope this guy has been working his butt off to get in better shape than when he started the season. In my eyes there was a huge drop off in his skating speed and endurance compared with the player we saw start last years lockout shortened campaign. The conditioning Bicks went through playing in Europe on that larger ice surface did this guy a huge favor. This allowed him to raise the level of his game and contribute to the team effort. I think Bickell is a guy that sometimes forgets what he is, and where his strengths are. So he gets paid the big bucks and told by everyone how great he is. It can go to your head. It will take Bickell at least 1-2 weeks of regular shifts to get back in game shape. Let’s see how he looks. I think he can be a very effective player when he keeps his game simple, especially when he uses his size to advantage.

    Morin back in Rockford shouldn’t surprise anyone. I think the guy can play, but the current lineup is strong. Someone needs to get hurt for guys like Morin and Pirri to crack this lineup and stick. BB is not a winger, but was a stop gap measure since they knew Bickell was around the corner. Zus is a guy that will make you cringe when you watch him skate. He is looking at the end of the road career wise, but it’s guys like him if healthy that are good to have around for their experience. Q sure seems to like going with the vets over kids, but he can afford to do that with this team.

    I liked Pete’s comment about Hitchcock. Damn right everyone in the league wants the depth of the Hawks and why not? Finding it via draft, trades, or free agency is no easy task with cap issues to contend with. The Hawks have done a masterful job in this pursuit. The Bowman’s and Dale both have done a stellar job helping shape and build this franchise. Pretty amazing when you think about it in the context of “heh, these our our guys!!”. Dreamlike stuff if you have been a fan for as long as many of us here. The Kings game Sunday was one of those moments where you can reflect, appreciate, and really enjoy how good this team can play.

    Lets get the Preds tonight.

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  26. Morrison says:

    ONE TEAM.

    ONE GOAL.

  27. RyanDale says:

    wow, Bickell activates, Cool! and stirs quite a debate. I’ll just go on record for the heck of it but, I like Pirri, shortcomings and all. I thought he did fine while he was up. Long term?, cant say, never got to see it, and probly wont. He seemed to handle the situation like a man and played hard. Suited me. Not everyone can be elite ya know. Is this where we are now, expecting 88 talent at every position? I know, Q wants bla bla bla…… Just sayin that 37 did well when asked.

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