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Bryan Bickell hints at possible retirement in tearful interview

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‘I’ll talk to my teammates here in the next couple days and let them know first what’s happening.’

Bryan Bickell has put an incredible amount of work into getting back on the ice with the Hurricanes since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It’s been inspirational to see what he has done to finish his career on a high note, even after it was derailed by health issues that began way back in 2015.

But now it appears Bickell might be getting ready to call it quits, if this interview posted by the Hurricanes’ Twitter on Friday is any indication. Trying to fight through tears to answer questions, Bickell says, “I haven’t told my teammates yet,” giving a sign that he’s getting ready to reveal his future plans.

“I’ll talk to my teammates here in the next couple days and let them know first what’s happening,” Bickell said.

There’s not a whole lot about this that’s easy to watch. You don’t usually see hockey players show much emotion, let alone cry during interviews, but Bickell has trouble holding it back.

Bickell had a tough final couple years to his career with the Blackhawks, and seeing the cause in retrospect makes all the criticism at his expense feel unwarranted. He never lived up to a contract he couldn’t turn down, but it was never for a lack of effort or passion on his part. You always wanted Bickell to recapture that 2013 glory, even as it became clear in the waning years that was never going to happen.

This isn’t a guarantee that Bickell is actually retiring, as he doesn’t outright say what his plans are, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he calls it quits to focus on the rest of his life. Whatever comes next, we’ll be rooting for him.