2013-14 stats: 59 games, 11 goals, 4 assists, 15 points, minus-6
Needs to prove: That he will play with maximum effort every night
Nobody gets to the NHL if he is going to relax or waltz through games. That's especially true of a player like Bryan Bickell, who has size, strength, a solid wrist shot and just decent skating ability.
When Bickell was progressing up the ladder through the junior ranks and the American Hockey League, nobody envisioned him as a game-changing player who would light up the scoreboard with an array of scintillating moves. He made the Blackhawks prior to the 2010-11 season because of his hard work and toughness.
Since that time, Bickell has had some brilliant moments. He has made huge contributions in each of the last two playoff seasons, as he scored nine goals and eight assists when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and had seven goals and three assists in the 2014 postseason.
It's far too simplistic to say that Bickell merely turns it on at playoff time, even though the numbers suggest that's just what has happened. But it is not too simplistic to say that Bickell needs to find a way to play more consistently and productively in the regular season.
Bickell acknowledged to ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers that he needs to be in better shape during the regular season. "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.
Quenneville has not been happy with Bickell's regular-season production, via Powers, and the left wing must step up this year or he may lose his opportunity to produce in the postseason.