(CBS) A week after being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in a salary dump after several disappointing season in Chicago, former Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell expressed his thanks to the organization and its fans.
“I know Chicago will always be a second home to me and my family, for what we’ve done and the people we’ve met and the friends we’ve made,” Bickell said in an interview on the Spiegel and Goff Show on Wednesday. “You can never take that away from us.
“If you look back at all those years and see what we’ve accomplished as a group and as an organization, I’m sure they’ll take that every day, any time. For me, I’ve been happy getting drafted here in ’04 and then working my way up in the minors and playing a handful of years with the Hawks.
“There’s no regrets. For the people with the Blackhawks and what they’ve done for me and my family, it was a blessing.”
The Blackhawks signed Bickell to a four-year, $16-million contract extension after he was a hero in the team’s 2013 Stanley Cup championship. Bickell completed a strong postseason by scoring the game-tying goal in Chicago’s Game 6 title-clinching win in Boston.
Bickell never lived up to his large contract, forcing the Blackhawks’ hand in a cap-clearing trade. Along with promising young forward Teuvo Teravainen, Bickell was traded last week to Carolina as Chicago had made it a priority to dump salary.
Bickell fully expected to be traded this offseason, given his struggles and knowing the salary cap crunch the Blackhawks were facing.
“For us, my family, it’s just nice it’s done early,” Bickell said. “Now I can wrap my head around it.
“It’s the way things go with the salary cap.”
Bickell feels “good” physically, he said, after suffering from vertigo in 2014-’15 and then still feeling some effects of it this past season.
Listen to Bickell’s full interview below.