Without the exceptional play of Bryan Bickell, the Chicago Blackhawks would likely be watching the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals from their couch. Sure, the leaders that be on the Blackhawks’ roster are phenomenal, but the eight playoff goals from Bickell are incredible.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and the Hawks will surely be playing against Bickell in 2014.
Although the playoff standout had only nine goals in the regular season and is making a mere $600,000, some NHL team will overpay for the 27-year-old this summer. Just like in 2010, general manager Stan Bowman will be forced to watch a few players leave and one of them will definitely be Bickell.
Many left Chicago for dead when they were unable to keep a lot of the stars from the 2010 championship team — expect more NHL pundits to do the same once Bickell books out of town this offseason.
Of course, any team scouting Bickell is going to pay close attention to the 2013 Stanley Cup because for the first time of his professional career, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be game planing against the forward. The red flags for Bickell center around his inconsistency during the season and despite his larger build he doesn’t play as physically as he should.
However, teams with a ton of cap room like the St. Louis Blues would love to bring in a guy who can light the lamp when it matters most. St. Louis won’t be the only team courting Chicago’s budding star, but the Blues are my early pick to win the oncoming Bickell sweepstakes.