In a surprising move on Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks have waived forward Bryan Bickell, according to Elliotte Friedman.
Rumors circulated yesterday that Chicago was talking with the Edmonton Oilers about a Bickell for Nikita Nikitin trade, but that deal, if it was in the works, fell apart.
With word coming through during the summer that Bickell would get shopped, it appears that Chicago has run out of options and hasn’t been able to find any takers on the 29-year-old winger who has two years remaining on a contract that carries a $4 million AAV. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun confirmed today that the team has been actively shopping him since the end of last season.
Bickell has been effective in the postseason, but the cap-crunched ‘Hawks need more than last season’s 14 goals and 28 points from a $4 million contract.
The 2004 2nd round draft pick for Chicago is a veteran of 259 games and was a part of all three Stanley Cup championships.
Other teams in the league will have until noon on Saturday to claim Bickell. If he clears waivers, the team will get $925,000 in cap relief if they send him to the AHL. They do not necessarily have to send him to the AHL if he clears waivers.
The cap relief is the veteran minimum +$375k, so now $950k in cap savings with the minimum at $575k https://t.co/GhJs0ehbvZ
— WAR On Ice (@war_on_ice) October 2, 2015