Blackhawks Bickell, Handzus cleared for camp

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Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman confirmed to the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Lazerus on Wednesday that both Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus have been cleared to participate in training camp.

Bickell, 27, is recovering from a fairly gruesome thumb injury while Handzus, 36, underwent surgeries on a torn ACL and broken wrist this summer.

Both forwards were integral parts of Chicago’s impressive run to a second recent championship.

Bickell showed the grit and scoring touch that prompted Blackhawks management to hand him a four-year, $16 million contract this offseason.

Meanwhile, Handzus’s $1 million salary cap hit expires after 2013-14, so he has much to gain if he can prove that his surprisingly effective work as a second/third-line center wasn’t a fluke.

Overall, this continues an almost uniform stream of good news for Chicago as of late.