Bryan Bickell’s Disappearing Act: Are His Days In Chicago Numbered?

The Blackhawks might sit near the top of the NHL still, but their two ugly losses on Friday and Saturday nights had the appearance of the team taking a step backwards.

When the season began, one young player the organization was looking at to step up this season was Bryan Bickell. Through 21 games, however, his game has done little to fulfill those expecations. With his production being non-existant and his ice time shrinking, are Bickell’s days in Chicago numbered?

Here are Bickell’s stats through his 20 games played:

  • 42 hits (tied with Daniel Carcillo for team lead).
  • 7 giveaways.
  • 29 shots on goal (10th on the team).
  • 5 points (tied with Marcus Kruger for 14th on the team).
  • -8 rating (worst on the team).

He hasn’t registered a point yet in November, and is minus-five with eight penalty minutes in the month. His ice time has clearly indicated that he is losing favor with the coaches as well. Bickell played 15:29 on Nov. 3, but has skated 10:35 or less in five of eight games since (including less than 10 minutes in Calgary and Edmonton).

Last year, Bickell had a surprisingly productive season that appeared to make Troy Brouwer expendable. He posted 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists) and 178 hits in 78 games. With a reasonable cap number (under $900k), Bickell appeared to be on the verge of becoming one of the better bargains in the NHL.

But he hasn’t been.

He’s been a ghost.

For the sake of comparison, Viktor Stalberg has points in six of ten November games, including a stretch of five straight that was broken in Edmonton. His ice time has also bounced up and down in November, but never lower than the 11:31 he skated on Saturday night. Absolutely his production has benefitted from skating with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, but he has been more consistently aggressive than Bickell this year.

For a 25-year-old coming off a season with just under 40 points, there is still hope that Bickell can turn his ship around. But with Ben Smith with the Hawks now and Michael Frolik (hopefully) coming back from injury soon, coach Joel Quenneville will have to sit someone.

If ice time is any indication, Bickell’s days in the lineup may be numbered. Could his days with the organization be short as well?

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10 Responses to Bryan Bickell’s Disappearing Act: Are His Days In Chicago Numbered?

  1. Andrew says:

    A young player with big potential and a low cap number is going to hang around. Young guys slump and streak more than the veterans. I think a lot of this teams, and Bickells, issues of late are to be expected. 20 games is a preseason, and a little patience is important. When we get to January, I think we can start to make realistic judgments. Before then, it seems a bit premature.

    Even without Bickell scoring, his thumping has to be valued with Carcillos.

  2. robinson says:

    even if bicks doesnt play check line, he still could be very good on 4th/extra winger for 4th/or other line when hurt player…

    He s a guy we keep and just play on the line or a backup based on how things are going for him at the time… Hes a good guy and would nail people on the 4th if thats his role…eager (big,hits,sneaky fast wristshot)

  3. Canes Dad says:

    I have been giving some thought about how to statistically rate players based on points, plus/minus, and games played. Here is what I came up with: Index = (Points – Plus/Minus) * Games Played.

    Here is the table. Comments welcome.

    Offense GP Pts +/- Pts – +/- Index
    Jonathan Toews 21 19 5 14 294
    Patrick Kane 21 22 10 12 252
    Marian Hossa 20 23 11 12 240
    Patrick Sharp 21 19 8 11 231
    Nick Leddy 21 15 4 11 231
    Duncan Keith 18 12 1 11 198
    Steve Montador 21 9 3 6 126
    Brent Seabrook 18 7 1 6 108
    Viktor Stalberg 18 10 5 5 90
    Jamal Mayers 21 4 0 4 84
    Marcus Kruger 20 5 -1 4 80
    Nik Hjalmarsson 21 2 5 3 63
    Dave Bolland 17 8 -5 3 51
    Andrew Brunette 21 8 -6 2 42
    Sami Lepisto 8 0 4 4 32
    Brandon Pirri 1 1 0 1 1
    Sean O’Donnell 13 3 -3 0 0
    Dan Carcillo 17 7 7 0 0
    Corey Crawford 17 0 0 0 0
    Ray Emery 5 0 0 0 0
    Brandon Saad 2 0 0 0 0
    Rostislav Olesz 6 0 -1 -1 -6
    Ben Smith 2 0 -3 -3 -6
    John Scott 11 0 -2 -2 -22
    Bryan Bickell 20 5 -8 -3 -60
    Michael Frolik 19 7 -3 -4 -76

  4. Tuke says:

    I say if somebody better can brought in weather it is from a promotion or a trade let him go. He has done nothing this year and does not seem to be bringing any intensity to the ice.

    For instance there have been some rumors being thrown around Edmonton that SB may be interested in Sam Gagner, if he could be had for Bickell and maybe a prospect would that be a trade people would approve of. I for one would say do it now, but that is just my opinion.

  5. No Way says:

    There is no way Gagner should even be considered. You want to take away our hitting leader and replace it with another small, soft forward? There is no need for more scoring.

  6. Tuke says:

    He is tied with Carcillo for the lead in hits and he is not making any difference on the ice. I would rather see Gagner flanked by Sharp and Kaner and see Carcillo moved to the checking line than see him on the 2nd. However, I hope Bickell does turn things around and regain at least his form from last year as I do think that he is one of the better bargains in the league, but the time for him to do it is now before Q loses all patience with him and really starts to cut his minutes or just throws him down with Kruger and Mayers.

  7. Toby says:

    I hate vancouver

  8. No Way says:

    Id like to give Bickell another shot. I may be in the minority, but his cap is so small, and he fits the 4th line profile very well. I would not be objected to move Sharp for a #1 Dman. Then maybe Stan can use his coin purse to get someone like Doan ( for example).

  9. Tuke says:

    Regardless of how bad things get in Phoenix which aren’t very bad at the moment Doan is is not going anywhere soon and I think Sharp is probably considered an untouchable as far as Sb is concerned. I still think a 2C (either via trade or promotion although I don’t see anyone that is ready in RockVegas) that would allow Kaner back to his natural position would help solidify the 2nd line (a reuniting of Gagner and Kaner would be nice ), and if the price is right it would still leave enough cash to shore up the D. I’m not sure why you want another #1 D man when they have 2 of the best in the league. If anything I can see them bringing in a solid #2 or 3rd pairing guy. Of course this is just my opinion though.

  10. No Way says:

    To get something, you have to give something. There is no magical store to buy a player of impact. Maybe you could just give cash and get a bottom feeder type player.

    My theory has always been defense DOESNT win championship’s, Offense wins Championship’s. Defense is just the difference between the two teams.

    So Im thinking we can outscore any other team with the same defense. But we cant defend the same type of offense. That’s my whole theory behind trading a top 3 F, for a top 3 D. I don’t want to lose 19,88, or 81. But I really would like someone on the back end to be that depth we need. After 2, 7 and somehow 4, I don’t like our Dman.

    Im willing to do any trade, barring those numbers I posted, to get a cup THIS year.

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