After 12 games, Bryan Bickell’s time in the American Hockey League appears to be over.
Bickell has left the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford, per ex-ESPN Chicago scribe Scott Powers, and is expected to be available for selection when Chicago takes on the Jets today.
Bickell’s return comes after the ‘Hawks put Russian forward Viktor Tikhonov on waivers, for the purpose of sending him to the IceHogs.
The hope now, of course, is that Bickell’s time in the minors has kickstarted his game.
Carrying a hefty four-year, $16 million deal with a $4M average annual cap hit, Bickell struggled mightily over the first month of the NHL campaign, which led to Chicago demoting him in early November.
Over the last month, though, the big power forward looks to have rediscovered his offense. He has seven goals and 14 points in 12 games for Rockford.
“Putting it all together for Bicks is a challenge, but there are always some good parts to his game,” ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “He can skate, he can shoot, he can hit hard. So there are some good attributes there, and just putting them together in that consistent fashion is what we want to see.
“When he delivers it, it makes us a better team.”