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‘Big summer for me to get in shape,’ says Blackhawks’ Bickell

Jun 6, 2014, 8:32 PM EDT

Bryan Bickell Getty Images

He cashed in last summer after a standout playoff performance for the Chicago Blackhawks.

This time around, Bryan Bickell appears more focused on getting into better shape, with the goal of being a more consistent offensive threat not just in the post-season, but the regular season as well.

“I think this is a big summer for me to get in shape and to be more of a regular-season guy, not just a playoff guy,” Bickell said earlier this week, as per ESPN Chicago.

After nine goals and 17 points in 23 games during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, which ultimately ended with a championship for Chicago, Bickell re-signed with the Blackhawks for four years at $16 million and an annual cap hit of $4 million. His breakout playoffs combined with a huge raise in salary left Bickell as one of the players under pressure heading into this past regular season.

But his numbers during 59 games this past regular season didn’t even match up to what he the previous spring. Just 11 goals and only 15 points. His decline led head coach Joel Quenneville to call him out, saying the Blackhawks needed more out of the big and now 28-year-old power forward. He was eventually made a healthy scratch.

A knee injury midway through the season certainly could’ve played a substantial part in his low contributions, although when the playoffs began in April, he once again seemed to thrive, with seven goals and 10 points in 19 games.

Said Quenneville to ESPN Chicago: “We’d like to see more consistency out of him.”

  1. gret9 - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    I love Bicks and I have always been on board with the contract Stan gave him.

    Bickell working hard in the off season is only part of the equation.

    Q needs to stop making him the replacement resident of the Viktor Stalberg Memorial Doghouse. Although he does have the problem of having 3 Top 6 quality LW’s in Bickell, Sharp and Saad for 2 spots.

    These line combos seem pretty good to me:

    Bickell / Toews / Hossa
    Saad / Shaw / Kane
    Sharp / Teravainen / Smith
    Morin* / Kruger / Versteeg

    *I know Bollig is in this spot, but a guy can dream.

  2. cheggy1731 - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    gret9, I like those line combinations. I think having Teuvo as the 3rd center would help him ease into the line up. Shaw can play wing or center, slide into the 3rd slot when Teuvo is ready. Veteran like Sharp could

    help the kid along, but Teuvo really needs to add about ten pounds of muscle. Hawks could use a big 3rd line center that is good on draws like a Dan Boyle.

  3. comeonnowguys - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    They don’t use him the regular season like they do in the playoffs. Got no problem with his numbers in the first 82 as long as he keeps producing after that.

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