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Both Bickell, Blackhawks hope a deal can be made

Jun 26, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT

bryanbickellgetty Getty Images

Much is unclear about pending free agent Bryan Bickell‘s future, but there’s no doubt he’ll make more than the $600K salary he pulled in this season.

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman once again shared his desire to bring back the burly forward, expressing a positive outlook regarding the possibility during a radio spot on ESPN Chicago Wednesday.

“We certainly want to bring him back,” Bowman said. “That’s our objective right now. We’re working on that and some other things, and there’s a short amount of time to do it. We’re optimistic and hopeful.”

It appears that a return is the 27-year-old’s preference, at least.

“I got drafted in ’04 with this team,” Bickell said. “I think this is a second home to me. To be brought up through the minor leagues and being here the last couple years has been an honor. I feel this is a home to me. I have a lot of friends and family with me in the city. I enjoy it a lot here.”

With approximately $2 million in salary cap space and some other decisions to make – including that of occasionally benched defenseman Nick Leddy – it might take some clever maneuvering to happen.

Perhaps Bickell might need to leave a little money on the table, too, as he made some serious waves – and a lot of funny faces – in the playoffs.

  1. s2mikey - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Hopefully the hawks can get him for a reasonable price. It’s bad when guys eat up major cap space and then under perform.

    • pudgalvin - Jun 27, 2013 at 8:13 AM

      Post cup bliss. Gotta be careful with these type of players that have good runs in the playoffs. Bickell was a fairly maddening player in the regular season, and I think there are a lot of players in the league that would do well playing next to Toews and Hossa or Kane. Love to see him back, but nothing rash here.

      • bhawksrule - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        It’s almost Deja Vu with regards to Byfuglien in 2010. Byfuglien was an underachiever during the regular seasons and then stepped up big on their 2010 run. Bickell was mediocre at best during the regular season but then found another level this 2013 run. While keeping a big body like Bicks would be great, we can’t over value it and make a bad deal. We were able to replace Byfuglien when everyone thought the Hawks were doomed in front of the net and there’s no reason the Hawks can’t replace Bickell if they absolutely had to. I hope it get’s done, but the price has to be right.

  2. chicagobtech - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Hometown discount or it’s not going to happen.

  3. withseidelinn - Jun 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    What is this going to ask for now? 3? 4 mil??

  4. martysbetter - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    I would like editorial credit on this website when Bickell is Devils fans’ consolation prize to losing David Clarkson in the near future.

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  6. dboldave - Jun 27, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    I’m sure he’ll get a big money contract with another team.

  7. ray2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    He had a great run. He’s won two Cups with the Hawks. Time to get paid.

  8. DED - Jun 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Capgeek says that the team has just under $2.1 million in cap space so that’s going to be tough. Handzus, Stalberg, Mayers, Emery and Rozsival are all UFA’s too. Does the team trade their rights away for draft picks?

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Hawks need to focus on what is accomplish-able and strategic for the long term.

      Handzeus has an MCL tear, already had an ACL tear, which has likely slowed him down. Was a contributor, but at age 36 and a 2.500,000 salary, Bicks has more potential.

      Mayers was not used much and is 38 (low salary tho, so the issue is roster spot with some very promissing AHL players vs cap space).

      For whatever reason, Stallberg in in Q’s doghouse. Not good timing for a negotiation, think they’re parting ways.

      Emery – would love to see Razor stick around, but he probably wants to go where he can start. Islanders may well have beaten Pitt is they had Emery6 instead of the disaster that was Nabokov (.840 save % for the series). They have plenty of cap space. Finally Hawks signed a promising Finnish goalie earlier in the month, likely knowing they did not have much change with Emery.

      Rozsival would be the #2 signing priority after Bickel. Kruger is a RFA and would merit re-signing at a reasonable cost.

  9. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    One thing to keep in mind is the decreasing cap total next year. The bidding/demand are not going to be as high. I don’t see Bickell getting 4 mill anywhere. Look at what Boston has decided with their assistant captain and locker room leader.

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