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Blackhawks hope to bring back Bryan Bickell

Jun 11, 2013, 7:12 PM EDT

bryanbickellgetty Getty Images

While many remember the post-Stanley Cup purge, the bottom line is that the Chicago Blackhawks still boast enviable depth. In a salary cap age, that comes at a price, which might mean parting with more players this offseason.

CSNChicago.com reports that Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman hopes that a tight situation won’t cost them rising power forward Bryan Bickell.

“We obviously want him to remain with us. We’re going to do our best to do that,” Bowman said. “I think Brian likes it here. He’s made comments that way; he enjoys playing on our team. He’s found a nice role. Certainly the coaches have confidence in him. As a player, that’s something they all talk about; finding the right situation for a player is important. He serves a nice role for us and he’s respected by his teammates. There are a lot of positives for him and we want to bring him back.”

Doing so will be costly, as his strong postseason work will prompt a significant raise from the $542K mark he’s currently making – especially since he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at 27.

It doesn’t help that the Blackhawks have other pressing concerns, such as signing valuable depth defenseman Nick Leddy.

Either way, Bowman insists that the roster won’t get gouged like it did after the last time they made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010.

“We’re in a much better place now than we were at that time,” Bowman said. “We had a unique scenario back then when our three best players were getting significant increases at the same time. We don’t have that phenomenon now. Certainly, we have some players whose contracts are up and will get increases. But when you’re going from $900,000 to $6 billion and you have three guys doing that, that’s a really big jump. So we don’t have that.”

  1. adambballn - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    I don’t see the Hawks resigning him. With a very thin group of free agents and the way he’s stepped up his game in the playoffs someone is going to overpay him. Leddy is a must to resign, and even though he’s restricted, the priority.

    • hawksin5 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      Thin group of free agents? Do you realize how many team are going to have to let players walk because of lowered salary cap issues as well as all of the compliance buyouts who then turn around to be UFAs? This will be one of the biggest free agent markets in a long time.

      • esracerx46 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        I highly doubt their is going to be as many buyouts as you are expecting. I’ll put the over under at 7 and be comfortable going under

  2. sillyv6 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    6 billion?!!?

    • polegojim - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Well… I bet he’d play for 1 billion and save them some money!

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        A regular Tom Brady…

  3. hammerhead5573 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Any Blackhawks fan has gotta love Bickel this post season, as he has been getting better every series and without him they would have struggled. I suspect the only way they will be able to resign him is if he gives a hometown discount, which I doubt he will do and I couldn’t blame him. The only issue is he has not been this way the entire year. In fact he was in and out of the dog house for the better part of 2 years. As was previously stated some team will over-pay him and may not get other pieces they need as a result. The Hawks have Jimmy Hayes in the system who has great hands and speed. He needs more bulk and can be as impressive as Bickel. Only time will tell though. In the meantime I am glad he is a big part of this run the Hawks are on.

  4. homegrowntalentmn - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    he’ll ask for to much $$$$$ and be asked to do to much… he’s just having good puck luck, on a line with toews and sharp. congrats to him! but I’m not fooled.

  5. boxwatcher - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Bickell is this years Byfuglien. I miss Buff but I’m not so sure the Blackhawks would’ve been better off if they’d kept him. I want Bicks to stay but keeping him at any price shouldn’t be an option.

    • polegojim - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      Sorry man… but at 300+ lbs… they are not missing him AT ALL.

      The Jet’s will struggle trading his Ice Walrus butt… who’s in the market for a stanchion on skates?

      Plus, just getting to 300… the guy is a head case to manage. Who needs that either?

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:14 AM

        Thanks for the laugh with the “Ice Walrus” bit.

      • polegojim - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        ; ) we do what we can JC!

  6. hockeysources - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    I think Bickell will get 2.5-3.25m per, on a 3 or 4 year contract.

    • polegojim - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      He deserves it…

      As a Red Wings fan… Bickell was one of the biggest difference makers.

      Hey wait… maybe Chicago SHOULD let him walk…calling Mr. Holland… Mr. Holland… please pick up the red phone, Bryan’s agent is on the line.

  7. drone501 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    pens free up some money, word on the street is that he’s wanted in pittsburgh.

  8. fallen737 - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    he won’t go to Pittsburgh. guaranteed.

  9. jacketsfan7 - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    He’d be a great fit for Pittsburgh , I bet if he went there , he’d play on a line with sutter and Bennett , while brenden morrow can play with vitale and Cooke

    • polegojim - Jun 12, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      And… he still be the only one scoring….

  10. indianhead1992 - Jun 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Earlier this year in an interview Bickell does not want to leave Chicago and wants to finish his career. I understand money talks but Bickell and Shaw are really good friends. They grew up in Rockford together through the AHL and were put on the same line for most of the season. He is staying in Chicago end of story.
    The whole season Pens fans were going to each player saying “oh he would fit good on our team”. Its been really annoying. Have you guys noticed your best players have been your own draft picks? You need to grow your depth not buy them. That’s what chicago has done for the most part and now they are in thr Cup 3 years later and for the Pens its 4 and counting.

    • drone501 - Jun 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      ok we won’t do that anymore.

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