Former Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell will be honored at the 2017 NHL Awards show on Wednesday. The big event will be the epicenter of the hockey world with the expansion draft and trophy announcements, but it’ll also be a chance to show appreciation for Bickell after his career came to a close this year.
Bickell will be honored “for the perseverance he showed last season” after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, according to CSN’s Tracey Myers. He worked hard to return to the ice after the diagnosis and eventually scored a shootout goal in his final NHL game to end things to storybook fashion.
“[The league] called me up to come here and I said, ‘Why not?’ I had time to make it out here and enjoy some festivities,” Bickell said. “It’s kind of a finale where the respect of what I went through and the story I had this year, they’re going to do it [Wednesday] and it’s just the icing on the cake. It’ll be emotional but I’m going to try to keep it together.”
Bickell is enjoying some time in Vegas now, hopefully nearby a pool given how ridiculously hot it is there. He told Myers that his family has sold its house in Chicago and moved back to Canada, where he’s originally from.
Who knows how much more we’ll see of Bickell after Wednesday night. It’s going to be a wild evening full of trades and big announcements. It’ll also be another chance to say goodbye to one of the most important Blackhawks figures of the past 10 years.
“I gotta get ready for my speech,” Bickell said. “I’ve got 90 seconds, so I have to figure something out.”