(CBS) Bryan Bickell will retire a Chicago Blackhawk after signing a one-day contract with the team Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Bickell is stepping away from the game after he was diagnosed in November 2016 with with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system.
Bickell was a member of championship teams in Chicago in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He played some of the best hockey of his career in the 2013 playoffs, when his 17 points in 23 games were instrumental in the Blackhawks’ title.
“As any professional athlete will tell you, stepping away from the game is extremely difficult especially given my circumstances,” Bickell said in a statement. “I’m honored to be retiring a Chicago Blackhawk — a team that has given me and my family so many great memories. I appreciate Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman for allowing me this opportunity.”
He played 384 of his 395 career games with the Blackhawks.
“We are thankful to Bryan for his accomplishments on the ice, and we look forward to hearing his voice in raising awareness for multiple sclerosis as he fights the disease,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement.