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Bickell says he’d take hometown discount to stay in Chicago

Jun 27, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

Bryan Bickell, Michal Handzus AP

Bryan Bickell‘s huge postseason is the kind of thing an unrestricted free agent-to-be loves to have happen. After all it means a big payday from a team in need of physical scoring.

Bickell, however, says he might want to stick around in Chicago as he told the press today and do so with a hometown discount. As for what that “discount” might entail, that’s up for debate.

Bickell is coming off a three-year contract that paid him $1.625 million total. After putting up nine goals and eight assists in the postseason after having 9-14-23 in the regular season, he’d be poised to cash in in a big way.

That said, going from a cap hit that was in the neighborhood of league minimum to one, likely, in the multi-millions doesn’t strike many as a discount. If he’s willing to ignore big money offers from other teams to just stay in Chicago, that’s more like staying loyal than offering a discount.

For what it’s worth, the gang at laid even-odds that Bickell would land with the Detroit Red Wings in free agency. Might be time to throw a few bucks on the Blackhawks.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I always thought it would be interesting to be in this position. Do you cash in on a giant payday that you would otherwise never see again, or do you half that and stay in the place you love. Tough call for sure.

    • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      depends on your lifestyle and your attitude. i’ve never been in the situation but honestly if i were a young man with no kids and a cup under my belt already then i would take the money and run with it. there’s no guarantees he even makes it past this next contract so he should make it count.

      • desertfan - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        4 x $2.5M is max and a home run for this guy if he can find it??

    • ray2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      He’s already won the Cup twice. Let him get paid. At some point, sooner than he wants, he’ll be retiring from the NHL, and those paychecks are not coming back. He should make the money while he can.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        his name is on it once but i get your point

  2. tone360 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    No doubt a tough call but winning is fun and Chicago is a great city to live in especially when your winning. Keep winning and the money will come… Right?

  3. charliereno - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Bovada is a joke.

  4. whammy71 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Players can do what they want – but it is not like this guy is choosing between leaving for a $60 mil max year contract…or staying for $48 mil on a max year deal.

    The players at the lower end of the spectrum owe it to their families to max out the money when it becomes available. He is already on the Cup.

    If I played pro sports – I would much rather be set afterwards and not have to worry…then bust your butt until you’re in your mid-30s….then have to sell insurance or something.

    • suprsquirrel - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Let’s assume that a ‘discount’ is something like 4 years, 2.5 million per year. That’s ten million dollars. Dude likes to hunt and fish, outdoors type of stuff. While that does cost money, it’s not like living large driving Bentleys.

      My point is even if he gives a hometown discount he could very easily be set for life if he manages his funds well. I for one hope he stays. They missed Buff after 2010 and they’ll miss Bickell should he decide to leave.

      • whammy71 - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        How old is the player….I’m not sure – cause I am not a ‘Hawks fan. Off the top….10% goes to his agent….he is now down to $9 million….then Uncle Sam gets his cut….what’s that??? 35%??? Say for simple sake….he is now down to $6 million cash. He may have 40 years left in his life….thats $150k per year. Raising a family….you can burn through that quick.

        Obviously, he’ll invest his money. So he’ll make interest. But then you counter that with inflatiion.

        IDK – my name is on the Cup – I’m a fringe player – I max out the loot! But hey – that’s just me.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        at 27 yrs old, he would be doing his future and his family a disservice by settling at this point in his career. it took him this long to be effective in the league…it could take less time to become irrevelent again. cash in.

  5. tmoore4075 - Jun 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    When teams start offer $4-5mil and Chicago is only offering 2.5mil do you stay? Over 6 years that extra 1.5mil adds up. Obviously I’m just making numbers up for the sake of argument but I think you get my point. I’m with @whammy71 on this one. This is his pay day. However with the Bolland rumors and the buyouts maybe they find a way.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      4-5 mill is likely NOT realistic. All the teams are looking at a reduced cap space for next year and making tough decisions. Look at the buyouts and the “letting players go” releases.

      I’d be surprised to see anything more than 3.5 mill anywhere. Rask had a huge year, and if he thinks he’s going to get 6.5 mill/year over 6 years he’s due for an awakening.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        You are assuming all these guys care about is winning a Cup. Boston probably won’t give $6.5 million to him, but a team like the Islanders? I wouldn’t bet against it. They have an abysmal amount of cap space, they’re young, and they need decent franchise players to bring interest to the team. I bet you they’d give Rask $6.5 million before they even finished the handshake upon meeting. But that’s what players have to decide. They can chase money on teams that have low security in terms of for certain success, or they can take discounts and stay with teams that are generally playoff certainties. They were great this year, but they were terrible last year and could be again next year. That’s the tradeoff the player is taking.

  6. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Things in Hawks favor include very likely play off bonuses and not having the pressure/expectation a big contract for a struggling team would entail.

    If I was the Hawks, I’d shop for advertizes willing to feature him next year, talk up staying with a winner and playing on the top two lines.

    If they trade Bolland, let Handzeus go with warm wishes, trade or waive Brookbank, they’d have enough room to Sign Bickell, Rozsival and Kruger likely. Leddy is a ?

    • gret9 - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      If they use their compliance buyouts on Montador and Olesz, the Blackhawks would have around 7 mil under the cap.

      That would be enough room for Leddy, Kruger, Leblanc and Rosival I hope. If they are able to move Bolland, maybe they will be able to bring Bickell back. All of us Hawk fans hope so anyway!

  7. alexbaymac - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    The other thing to remember is that ALL the teams are looking at a lower cap this year. That could mean less of a wind-fall offer for Bicks to jump somewhere. If the outside offers are lower, than I see StanBo putting a package (salary, advertising, etc.) that let’s him put aside some real money over the next 4 years in Chicago. He knows first-hand how well this organization treats their players & the player’s families: Chartered jets & hotels in Boston for over 200 non-players for the final…that’s a great place to play; Bicks LOVED his father-son trip with his dad along to Florida last year…those things are real so if no teams can throw 4-5M at him due to this year’s cap, why leave the team that brought you up?

    • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      other teams do the father-son florida trip and roll out the red carpet. its not unique what you’re describing here

      • alexbaymac - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Understood but no one does it BETTER than the Hawks & many of those ‘extra’ things started with them. He’s been there since his first days so he’s grown along with the team, to a guy like Bickell, that goes a long way. If the difference is less than 1M/year, there’s a real shot to keep him. I’d love to see him stay but I’m afraid the difference could be bigger.

      • drone501 - Jun 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        hell yeah pens were doing this when scuderi was on the team

  8. drone501 - Jun 27, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    word on the street is that pittsburgh wants him bad.

    • jpelle82 - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      they gotta take care of dupuis first. if they let cooke’s 1.8 per year go to free agency (which i suspect is gonna happen) and letang’s 3.5 is gone (should definitely happen), they could afford it and he would fit right in. i wouldnt have a problem with that signing. that means no chance for iginla and murray resigning either.

      • drone501 - Jun 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        yep, but he is the type of gritty player the pens can use. he can back it up. signing cooke could be a problem, but you also can’t tie up all your money in letang. hopefully someone can give us a starter or two. but im not a gm what the hell do i know. reimer would be a nice start.

  9. canucks30 - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    And by hometown discount he means $5million/year

    • adambballn - Jun 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      I’ve watched a lot of Brian Bickell over the years as a Hawks fan and if someone gives him $5 million a year because of a good playoff run while on a line with 2 of the best players in hockey… they are going to seriously regret it later.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      No way he gets 5 mil with the cap going down. Got to remember the context – Bickell was not nominated for any awards, would not have made the all star team this year. Further, Kane, Toews and Sharp are all at 6 mil, and he’s nowhere near as valuable.

      • drone501 - Jun 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        hockey is going the way of baseball even with the cap.

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