Bryan Bickell to retire after this season

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Bryan Bickell returned to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup this past week just a few months after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

After playing in the Hurricanes’ final two games this weekend, Bickell will officially retire from the NHL.

He made the announcement to Kurt Dusterberg of NHL.com.

“I’ve made the decision with my family that I’m going to call it quits, so it’s just these last two games,” Bickell said on Saturday, via NHL.com.

Following his MS diagnosis back in November, Bickell was able to return to the ice in February with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League, appearing in 10 games with the team. He scored a goal and added three assists.

In his first two games back with the Hurricanes this week he logged a total of 23 minutes of ice-time.

Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the 2004 draft, Bickell spent nine years with the organization and won three Stanley Cups. He played a central role in their 2012-13 championship run with a massive playoff performance that saw him record 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 23 postseason games. That performance helped land him a long-term contract extension to remain with the team. This past summer though the Blackhawks needed to shed salary to stay under the cap and sent Bickell, along with Teuvo Teravainen, to the Hurricanes for a couple of draft picks.

In 393 career games Bickell has scored 66 goals and added 70 assists.