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Kane to Bickell: You’re not a third-liner anymore

Sep 17, 2013, 12:11 PM EDT

KaneBickell

It’s expected that Bryan Bickell will be linemates with Patrick Kane in Chicago this season.

And hey, speaking of expectations….

“[Bickell is] one of our key parts of our lineup now,” Kane told the Chicago Tribune. “He’s got to know that going into this season and realize he’s not counted on being a third-line player or a checking-line guy.

“He’s got to do what he did in the playoffs. That’s what’s expected from him now.”

Bickell, 27, raised exceptions exponentially over a three-month span earlier this year.

He had a breakthrough playoff performance en route to the Stanley Cup, scoring 17 points in 23 games. That included nine goals (two of the game-winning variety) and his emergence as the big-body, net-front presence the club lacked since Dustin Byfuglien during the ’10 Stanley Cup run.

Then came the money.

Bickell, who was making a modest $541,666 per year on his old deal, scored one of the biggest raises of the summer by signing a four-year, $16 million extension. That put him among Chicago’s richest forwards, trailing only Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa in terms of average annual cap hit ($4 million).

Bickell knows all this will mean increased expectations for the season, and he’s willing to accept the challenge.

“There is more pressure on my shoulders, but I feel where I was a couple of years ago my game is getting better every year and my mental game is where it needs to be,” he said. “I feel happy to be back here with the contract I have.

“I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”

  1. pxland - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Good luck with that.

    • qq23wwe - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Bickell is a guy that Scottie Bowman saw something special in and kept his faith. I would say that paid off handsomely.

      No reason to think Bickell wont continue to improve. If I had to bet on weather “pxland” or Scottie Bowman will be right I wouldnt bet a squirt of piss on “pxland”. We will see tho

  2. stepanup - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Example of Kane stepping up to a leadership position on the team. Part of being a leader is setting expectations that your team works to meet. 88 has definitely grown up, now can Seguin do it too.

  3. withseidelinn - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Love this guy’s game. Hope he can meet expectations.

  4. bigbadbruins77 - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I hope so! I just picked him up in my free agent pool for fantasy, would be a great pick up racking up the points next to Kaner!

  5. earpaniac - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Bicks has always had the talent, and now he’s shown he can do it. The next step is showing he can do it in the reg season. He got a huge raise, but I have no doubt he’d have gotten more on the open market.

  6. jhuck92 - Sep 17, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    I’ve been saying it since big buff left: the ‘hawks have the talent, they just need the size. The result? Two Stanley Cups.

  7. slysipops - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    BICKELL wasn’t beiing greedy or stupid about his contract and said he wanted to stay in CHI-TOWN ! he is a great player …hard nosed ,but not dirty, pretty good speed ,especially for a big guy and a great shot or pass !! GO HAWKS GO !

  8. avfanforlife - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Why? Go away!

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