Bryan Bickell last played with the Rockford IceHogs in the 2009-2010 season, logging 65 games with the Chicago Blackhawks' AHL affiliate. Fast forward to the 2015-2016 season, and the two-time Stanley Cup champion left wing is back with the IceHogs.
Bickell has played in just seven games with the Blackhawks this season, and has not scored a point. He joined Ted Dent's Rockford roster for practice on Tuesday, and met with the media to discuss his assignment to the AHL.
"It was nice to get back on the ice and get back playing hockey. Being down here is the next step in this speed bump in my career right now. Work down here, good things will happen."
Bickell took his demotion in stride, honestly assessing what he needs to do to get back to Chicago. "You know, if I believe, I know I can play there. They'll give me more opportunities to get more ice and get my confidence back here. At the start of the year when I got put on waivers, I knew eventually this day might come and prepared for it. It's disappointing but at the same time, I just need to get my confidence back, get playing, get back playing my game and it'll all work out."
His focus is on taking advantage of playing time in Rockford after getting limited ice in Chicago this season. "Just get the minutes. It's tough up there with the minutes you get every night. You'll never know if you're in or out of the lineup. At this point, now I'm down here to get those minutes and contribute. Playing my game - getting the puck deep, getting to the net, shooting the puck, that's the biggest thing...I want to help out this team any way I can, if it's a week or two weeks or the rest of the year, I'm down here to work."