(CBS) The Blackhawks have finally dumped the albatross contract of winger Bryan Bickell, but they’ve paid a price to do so.
Chicago on Wednesday traded promising young forward Teuvo Teravainen and Bickell to the Carolina Hurricanes for a second-round pick (No. 50 overall) in this year’s draft and a third-round pick in 2017.
“I would like to thank both Bryan and Teuvo for their contributions to the Blackhawks organization,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “Both players were drafted by our organization and developed to play important roles on Stanley Cup championship teams. We wish them the best as they continue their careers with Carolina.”
The 21-year-old Teravainen had 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 78 games this past season and had helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2015. He was expected to take on a bigger role for the Blackhawks in 2016-’17 as he matured, with many viewing his potential as high as a top-six forward. He spent much of this past season being jostled between different lines.
Bickell signed a four-year, $16-million deal in summer 2013 after his big postseason (17 points in 23 games) helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. The deal has proved to be disastrous for Chicago. Bickell had 15 points in 59 games in 2013-’14 and 28 points in 80 games in 2014-’15. He only appeared in 25 games for the Blackhawks this past season, spending much of it at AHL Rockford.
Chicago had long been attempting to move Bickell but could find no takers. His contract being on the books in summer 2015 was a primary reason the Blackhawks had to part with budding young winger Brandon Saad in a trade with the Blue Jackets.
Throughout a run that’s seen them win three Stanley Cups in the past seven years, the Blackhawks have long faced a salary cap crunch in the offseason. Moving the 30-year-old Bickell will give them flexibility and cap relief, but it certainly came at a cost in losing Teravainen, whom they selected in the first round (18th overall) in the 2012 draft.