The Chicago Blackhawks lost a ton of muscle this off-season. Thanks to salary cap headaches, the team purged bruisers such as Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd. Those loses may not mean much in the box scores (aside from Byfuglien, I guess), but in tough battles with feisty squads such as the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago cannot afford to let its smaller players like Patrick Kane get pushed around.
The team took one step to keep some size in its lineup today, signing hefty forward Bryan Bickell to a three-year contract, according to ESPN Chicago. Bickell is a 6-4, 223 lbs. presence who may not have Byfuglien’s offensive ceiling but should fill some of the void left by the heavyweight nuisance.
Financial terms haven’t been released just yet, but considering the fact that the team still has some salary shedding to do, my guess is it will be a pretty frugal deal.