Both Bickell, Blackhawks hope a deal can be made

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Much is unclear about pending free agent Bryan Bickell’s future, but there’s no doubt he’ll make more than the $600K salary he pulled in this season.

Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman once again shared his desire to bring back the burly forward, expressing a positive outlook regarding the possibility during a radio spot on ESPN Chicago Wednesday.

“We certainly want to bring him back,” Bowman said. “That’s our objective right now. We’re working on that and some other things, and there’s a short amount of time to do it. We’re optimistic and hopeful.”

It appears that a return is the 27-year-old’s preference, at least.

“I got drafted in ’04 with this team,” Bickell said. “I think this is a second home to me. To be brought up through the minor leagues and being here the last couple years has been an honor. I feel this is a home to me. I have a lot of friends and family with me in the city. I enjoy it a lot here.”

With approximately $2 million in salary cap space and some other decisions to make – including that of occasionally benched defenseman Nick Leddy – it might take some clever maneuvering to happen.

Perhaps Bickell might need to leave a little money on the table, too, as he made some serious waves – and a lot of funny faces – in the playoffs.