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Pending UFA Bickell set to cash in this offseason

Jun 3, 2013, 12:06 PM EDT

Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 27, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Blackhwaks 2-1 in the shootout.
(March 26, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The price for Bryan Bickell may have risen again Sunday when the big 27-year-old power forward scored his sixth goal of the playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Only four other players have more goals than six this postseason — Patrick Sharp (8), David Krejci (7), Sidney Crosby (7) and Pascal Dupuis (7).

Bickell — drafted 41st overall in 2004 — is a pending unrestricted free agent that may in fact be pricing himself out of a return to the Blackhawks, as the salary cap is set to fall from $70.2 million to $64.3 million.

“He’s a force for them and it’s what that team needs,” one Western Conference executive told ESPN.com. “He’s really come on for them. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can re-sign him.”

If there’s one red flag for potential offseason suitors, it may be Bickell’s shooting percentage in the playoffs, which now stands at 25 percent.

That’s not a particularly sustainable conversion rate; his career shooting percentage in the regular season isĀ 12.2.

But that won’t stop teams looking for a versatile power forward (and there are always plenty of those) from going after him with their wallets wide open.

Bickell said in March that he wants to re-sign in Chicago. His price for staying may have changed since then though.

  1. davebabychreturns - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Boy this Fernando Pisani Joel Ward Bryan Bickell guy really is clutch! Sure hope my favourite team wins the eventual bidding war for his services because they definitely won’t regret it!

    • davebabychreturns - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Lousy wordpress, stripping the strike tags off my post and ruining the joke..

  2. jernster21 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    I love Bickell’s game – Chicago finally has the net front presence that they’ve missed since losing Dustin Byfuglien.

  3. tmoore4075 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    He’s the type of player you want in the playoffs for the right price. He’s also the type of player that some team looking to make splash, will overspend on.

  4. auggie1955 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Yeah, I agree tmoore. I’m a big Hawks fan and Bickell always plays at a higher notch during the playoffs. The rest of the season you just don’t get this kind of production out of him. Just look at his numbers – he’s never scored more than 17 goals in a season. All that being said I hope the Hawks re-sign him.

    • madhouseonmadison - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      He’s also consistently been used throughout his time on the NHL level as a 3rd and 4th liner – do you know many third and fourth liners scoring 30 goals per year?

  5. se7enbladez - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Good bye Bolland.

    • madhouseonmadison - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      IF they can find a dance partner – not sure that’s going to happen. Rusty & Montador are both gone as well (via buyouts).

  6. auggie1955 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Yeah I would like to wave goodbye to Bolland and his 3 M+ contract, but as madhouse as pointed out- who would want Bolland at that price? Bolland got that contract after the Hawks won the Cup in 09-10. Since then he’s always injured and can’t win faceoffs. We let guys like Ladd, Byfuglien, Versteeg, and Niemi go to keep Bolland and Hjalmarson.

    Don’t get me wrong, as a fan I want to see the Hawks keep Bickell. I’m just trying to say that not all of Stan Bowman’s moves have worked out in the past. Bickell will probably look to get around 3M/YR . With a lower salary cap next season the Hawks will have to wave goodbye to Stalberg another UFA in order to re-sign Bickell.

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