Bryan Bickell clears waivers, stays with Blackhawks

Teams had 24 hours to claim Bickell from the time the Hawks placed him on waivers Friday morning.


Bickell, 29, comes with a $4M cap hit with two years left on a deal before he becomes a UFA in 2017 but if you’re looking at this as a hockey move there are tons of options that make sense here. Bickell signed a four-year, $16 million contract after helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup championship in 2013. He managed just five assists in 18 playoff games and experienced vertigo, which forced him to miss most of Chicago’s Stanley Cup final series against Tampa Bay. “(With) the salary cap you have to do a few tough things”. Dano is a 20-year-old Austrian who was acquired in the trade that sent Saad to Columbus. Last season the big Bowmanville, Ont., native scored 14 goals and 14 assists in 80 regular-season games. “We want him getting pace into his game and getting our system in tune to his game”.

The two best options are to play him with Hall and McDavid on the top line to give them a player that can crash and bang to make space for the ultra-talented duo.

If Bickell clears waivers, it will save just a tad under a million towards the team’s salary cap.

Chicago sent Mark Dano down Friday along with Ryan Hartman, Vince Hinostroza, Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rassmussen and Garret Ross. Defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Ville Pokka have also been demoted to Rockford.


The Hawks wrap up their exhibition season Saturday against the Stars at the United Center.

Bryan Bickell Antti Niemi