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Bryan Bickell suffered from 'ocular issue,' not vertigo

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Bickell is now in Rockford trying to reignite his career, but the flame out really began last year when the forward started dealing with a health issue relating to his head. It had initially been reported for a long time that Bickell was suffering from vertigo, but the player's agent, Todd Diamond, says he actually had an "ocular issue."

Back in June, after the Hawks won their third Stanley Cup with Bickell on the roster, the winger told reporters that he had been dealing with vertigo. It was an unusual diagnosis. And then in September during training camp, Bickell revealed that he was still feeling the effects of whatever had ailed him.

We've consistently heard that Bickell is now healthy in recent weeks -- Diamond said he's 100 percent -- but now it seems like we at least have a better idea of what his issue was. An ocular issue could speak to some kind of vision problems or something else related to that area of the body. Vertigo, on the other hand, is the sensation of feeling movement or a loss of balance, often caused by an issue in the inner ear.

The ocular problem Bickell had apparently led to symptoms similar to those of vertigo, which helps explain why it was so difficult to peg down what was wrong. It's unclear when they figured out he didn't have vertigo.

Bickell's struggles on the ice seem to go beyond this ocular issue, though. He's been reassigned to the AHL after clearing waivers for a second time. Diamond has already told reporters his client is hoping to be traded, although everyone involved is probably aware that Bickell's oversized contract is the primary factor holding up any possible deal.

In 23 games this season, Bickell has recorded two assists. He has a cap hit of $4 million through next season.