Former Chicago Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell delivered a teary-eyed speech Wednesday as the hockey world honored him at the 2017 NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.
The league honored Bickell “for the perseverance he showed last season” after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He stepped away from the game last season and 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.
And here’s Bickell’s speech:
The NHL and NHLPA also donated $20,000 to the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation.
During a 10-year NHL career, Bickell won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, including one in 2013 where he starred throughout the postseason. The 2013 playoffs will forever stand out in Bickell’s career, especially because that performance led directly to a lucrative contract extension that he never lived up to.
Bickell recorded 66 goals and 70 assists, including career-highs of 17 goals and 20 assists in 2010-11, his first full season. He would never get back to those numbers, putting up 14 goals and 14 assists in 2014-15, which would prove to be his final full season.