Tha Sports Junkies 101

Hurricanes’ Bryan Bickell Diagnosed with MS

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News, Bickell Sarah A./via

Forward out Indefinitely with Multiple Sclerosis


RALEIGH, N.C.-When we sit on our couches to watch our favorite sports team play, we sometimes think that, because the guys playing are such incredible athletes, they’re immune to things that us “normal” people deal with. However, there are times we are reminded that they are humans just like us and exposed to the same troubles that we are, including health problems. Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell has unfortunately joined that list.

Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and will be out indefinitely, the team announced on Friday.

Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on June 15, Bickell had contributed one goal in seven games with Carolina. He had not played since October 30 when the Hurricanes faced-off against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Carolina general manager Ron Francis released a statement today stating, “First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself, and our thoughts are with him and his family. He will need to take some time to rest in the immediate future, and we will support him as he takes the necessary steps for his health. We ask that his privacy be respected during the process.”

A second round pick by the Blackhawks in the 2004 draft, the 30-year-old Ontario native is best known for his tremendous during Chicago’s Cup run in 2013. That postseason saw Bickell score nine goals and 17 points in 23 games.

That performance earned him a four-year, $16 million deal in the summer. While not having a great regular season in 2014-15, he backed up his performance from the previous spring the following playoff year, scoring seven goals and 10 points in 19 playoff games. Since then, however, his play seemed to take a nosedive.

During the Blackhawks’ Cup run in 2015, Bickell only contributed with five assists in 18 games. He was also scratched from the last two games of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Having been suffering from health issues during the season, Bickell had originally attributed them to vertigo. However, they continued into the 2015-16 season, causing him to see action in only 25 games with Chicago that year, spending most of his time with their AHL affiliate.

Bickell also released a statement on Friday, where he expressed his hopefulness to return to the ice in the future.

“Since the 2015 playoffs, I’ve been struggling to understand what was going on with my body,” Bickell said. “Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn’t right. Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love.”