After clearing some cap space by dealing Dave Bolland to Toronto and Michael Frolik to Winnipeg, the Chicago Blackhawks signed power forward Bryan Bickell to a four-year contract extension.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports it’s a $16 million deal, with an average annual cap hit of $4 million. That’s a sizeable raise for Bickell, who was making a modest $541,666 per year on his old deal.
The 27-year-old winger had a breakthrough playoff performance en route to the Stanley Cup, in which he scored 17 points in 23 games — including nine goals — emerging as the big-body, net-front presence the club lacked since Dustin Byfuglien filled it during the 2010 Stanley Cup run.
That came on the heels of a successful 2013 regular season, in which he had 23 points in 48 games while averaging close to 13 minutes per game.
Bickell had indicated his desire to stay in Chicago, hinting that he’d be willing to take a hometown discount to remain in the Windy City. He was originally selected by the ‘Hawks at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and has spent all six of his professional seasons with the team.
According to LeBrun, Bickell will receive a $1 million bonus plus $2 million in salary for next season, then $4 million in 2014-15, then $4.5 million in each of last two years of the deal.
Should be noted that Chicago shed approximately $5.7 million in salary today with the Bolland and Frolik deals.