Former Ottawa 67′s winger Bryan Bickell has picked a perfect time to step into the NHL spotlight. The Blackhawks power forward and pending unrestricted free agent is making a boatload of future money with every shift he plays.
A big body who can skate and score will be in high demand in a very shallow free agent pool this summer. After David Clarkson, Nathan Horton and Ryane Clowe, Bickell might be the best of the next tier of wingers and he will probably get awarded with a contract that pays him as much as a 700% raise on the $600,000 contract he is just completing now. There are a lot of names out there, but his blend of talent, youth (he is only 27) and experience (played 4 games in the Hawks 2010 cup run) make him a very attractive and sought after commodity.
As a player who skated on the same ice as 2 time CHL Player of the Year Corey Locke as well as star centre Logan Couture during his almost 4 seasons with the 67′s, Bickell never really stood out to the naked eye to the extreme that you would expect a multi-million dollar player to be at that level. He simply played his game, worked hard and paid his dues. It has paid off with top 6 minutes in a conference final where on a team of stars, he could be the club’s MVP so far.
In a perfect world, Bickell would get to raise the Cup and then sign on the dotted line in Chicago. That might be tough considering the cap situation the Hawks are in, so Bickell is one name to keep your eye on come July 5th.