The 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been underway for over a week now, and the quest for the Cup is the biggest spotlight in all of sports at the moment. However, on the final day of the NHL’s 2017 regular season there were a number of notable stories that made headlines.
One of which involved Carolina Hurricanes forward, Bryan Bickell.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) back in November, and it was unknown if the 31-year-old would ever be able to return back onto the ice to continue his NHL career.
Though, Bickell made the admirable comeback and rejoined the Canes in February, which was just in time for Carolina’s push for the playoffs. While the Hurricanes didn’t qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the mood surrounding the organization was an emotional one and all smiles during the club’s final regular season game on April 9 — at the Philadelphia Flyers.
The former Blackhawk announced that the contest vs. Philadelphia would be his final NHL game, so that he could officially retire and battle his MS disease. Well, Bickell’s final memory of playing in the NHL will last a lifetime, and for his fellow teammates as well.
The Hurricanes and Flyers entered overtime tied at 2-2 and then entered a shootout to decide who would win the matchup. Note, each team’s coaching staff originally select three players to shoot. Bickell, had never scored a shootout goal during his career, and had only one attempt before entering the contest that day…
Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters decided to chose Bickell to shoot first for Carolina in the shootout. (See Video Below)
As you saw, Bickell’s special moment did in fact happen. First up, he smoothly skates down and beats Flyers netminder Steve Mason with a beauty of snipe. An exciting moment for not just the Hurricanes and Bickell, but for Bickell’s wife and young daughter it the stands at Wells Fargo Arena, also.
Bickell’s teammates’ reactions speak for itself, too.
No, it’s not an ideal way to retire, but what a way to put the icing on the cake for Bickell. A ten-year-career officially came to a close, and with good spirits, in the City of Brotherly Love.
Congrats to Bickell on a successful NHL career and best of luck, my friend.
Hockey can have an uncanny way about giving back to its’ players…