The Chicago Blackhawks continued to make news as they signed restricted free agent forward Bryan Bickell to a three year deal worth and estimated $1.625 million, a cap hit of about $542,000.
Bickell spent the majority of the 2009-2010 season in the AHL with the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate Rockford Ice Hogs, where he appeared in 65 games and recorded 16 goals and 15 assists.
However Bickell did spend some time with the Blackhawks last season, recording three goals and an assist in 16 games.
In those 16 games with the Blackhawks, Bickell spent some time on the top line with the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, seeing success with them and provided them with a big body to drive the net.
Although Bickell only has six career points in 23 NHL games, he provides the 'Hawks with added size that they desperately need, and could potentially replace the point production of Dustin Byfuglien, although that might be a bit of a stretch.
With Bickell showing he has the ability to play at the NHL level, it is not to far fetched to think he is almost guaranteed a slot somewhere on the 'Hawks roster, likely on the 'Hawks third or fourth line.
With the signing of Bickell, the 'Hawks lineup is slowly beginning to fill up as it looks like the 'Hawks have only one more forward position to fill. They will likely fill it in house with Igor Makarov, Jeff Taffe, Evan Brophey and Rob Klinkhammer as possible candidates.
The Bickell signing gives the 'Hawks yet another quality, low price option to help fill out this revamped Blackhawk lineup and could turn out to be a real bargain just one year from now.
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