Bryan Bickell is heading to the AHL for the second time this season. Instead of him staying in the minors for an extended period of time, the struggling winger’s agent is hoping to get him traded to another team.
“If we are watching things with our eyes open, it’s pretty clear that I would say his future is likely not with the Blackhawks,” said agent Todd Diamond, per the Sun-Times. “Hopefully, we can work out a trade. Stan [Bowman] is open to that. But making trading these days in the NHL can be a time-consuming process where in the past you could just move bodies around much easier.”
Like Diamond mentioned, the writing’s been on the wall for Bickell in Chicago.
After returning to the Blackhawks after his first AHL stint, Bickell has just two assists in 16 games. He played more than 10 minutes in six of those games.
“The opportunity, if it’s there, it’s there,” head coach Joel Quenneville said. “You got to earn it. Sometimes it’s on a merit basis; sometimes it’s on health reasons as well. I don’t want to deny him an opportunity to get back here and play and help us. I still think he has that ability. How far away that is to be seen.”
The 29-year-old has this year and next year (at $4 million) remaining on his contract. The ‘Hawks would likely need to eat a good chunk of Bickell’s salary in order to complete a trade.