Former Blackhawks winger opens up about living with disease
Former Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell retired at the prime of his career, at 31 years old. Not because he wanted to, but because he was forced to.
Bickell suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. The unpredictable diagnosis of this disease has changed his life. He had to step away from hockey, and now has to take things slow, and focus on his health and family. While he says it was hard letting hockey go, he is “taking it in the right direction and thinking positive and making the best of it.”
Now that he has much more free time on his hands, Bickell can dedicate time and efforts to his passion for fishing. “That’s my happy place, my fishing. Stress is a big thing for MS people and that’s my stress-free zone.” However, he has to admit that he is always going to keep an eye on his former teams: “Hockey is in my blood. I don’t really know anything different.”
In 395 games with Chicago and the Carolina Hurricanes, he recorded 66 goals, 70 assists for 136 points. He helped the Hawks win Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015.