Bryan Bickell Diagnosed With MS

On Friday afternoon, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that former Chicago forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Bickell, 30, played 384 regular season games for the Chicago Blackhawks after he was selected in the in the second round of the 2004 NHL Draft. He could have easily won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013 after posting 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) in 23 games as the Hawks captured their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.

He signed a big money contract soon after that playoff performance, but mysterious health issues plagued his remaining days in Chicago (and Rockford). The Hawks traded him with Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina this summer.

Sadly, now we know why he was struggling to get himself right on – and off – the ice.

From the Carolina statement:

“First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family,” said Francis. “He will need to take some time to rest in the immediate future, and we will support him as he takes the necessary steps for his health. We ask that his privacy be respected during the process.”

“Since the 2015 playoffs, I’ve been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn’t right,” said Bickell. “Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love.”

Later Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks published the following:

For as much as he has been blamed for salary cap casualties in Chicago, it’s always been – and will continue to be – important that fans separate the player from the paper. Bryan Bickell is a man, with a family, who is dealing with an awful, terrible illness that has impacted many of our lives.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bickell and his family.

9 thoughts on “Bryan Bickell Diagnosed With MS

  • November 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Well said Tab and it seems a nice guy to boot.

  • November 11, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you for the post and comments regarding Bryan Bickell, Tab. Stick taps to him and his family going forward. Neuromuscular diseases are terrible. Here’s hoping that advancements in research and treatments help him and others battle this with positive outcomes.

  • November 12, 2016 at 12:59 am

    He has had a decent NHL career and a playoff run in 2013 that nobody can take away from him. If he never plays another game in the NHL, he has lots to be proud of.

    I have two friends who have MS. It is painful. Lots of daily shots of medication, frequent flu like symptoms and pretty constant aches. There is no sports.

    Having said that, Bickel is a young man with a wife and young child. With good Doctors and proper medication, he has a lot to live for. God bless him and his family in this battle.

  • November 12, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I can only recall all the bashing that Bickell took on this site over a couple of years. I’m very happy to say I was among the few that didn’t turn on him and always considered the quality of his person before the deteriorating quality of his play. He was, and is, a stand-up guy that was a contributor to hockey and beyond.

    Maybe, just maybe, the next guy that disappoints won’t be crucified in the same manner.

  • November 12, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Godspeed, Bicks. Everybody is pulling for you. The UC and all of Hawkdom will always be there with open arms.

  • November 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    This explains a lot. His deteriorating play wasn’t due to laziness as some claimed but severe medical issues. He earned that contract unfortunately his body betrayed him. There was absolutely no way to know that this would happen. Luck of the draw. Rain falls on the good man’s house as well as the bad man’s house (or in Rufus’s case rock). Hopefully Bicks can enjoy the rest of his life, and we’ll always have those amazing memories of his incredible play that culminated in the 2013 Stanley Cup.

  • November 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Prayers with him keep us posted tab on his progress

  • November 12, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Everybody that cares about the team and players who talks positive about the team in ups and downs is on your side. I am buying the first round sushi.

  • November 13, 2016 at 7:43 am

    This was really shocking news. The guy went from being a pretty solid contributor on the Hawks to become a disappearing act. Everyone was baffled to see his play drop off. Now it seems there was a serious medical issue that was developing. What a sad,sad story. No one can say a bad thing about Bicks. He was much liked in the dressing room and a fun loving guy. I always rooted for him as a player and now support him is this dire medical situation. MS is a very rough draw. Can you imagine? Hawks players must be gutted by this.

    Lets Go Hawks!

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