Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kurt Dusterberg at NHL.com,
Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell will retire from the NHL after playing in the Hurricanes' final two regular-season games, he told NHL.com on Saturday.
Bickell, who rejoined Carolina on April 3 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, has played in the Hurricanes' past two games.
"I've made the decision with my family that I'm going to call it quits, so it's just these last two games," said Bickell, who will play at home against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-MW, NHL.TV) and at the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
Bickell, 31, said he did not plan to call a press conference.
via Michael of Russo's Rants,
Bryan Bickell is playing his first NHL game since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November. He was recalled from the Charlotte Checkers, which coincidentally is where Josh Harding’s career ended after a setback playing for Iowa.
“We didn’t know when this day was going to come, but I’m happy to be here, happy to be in Minnesota,” Bickell said. “I’ve contacted Josh [Harding] this is where he had is so hopefully I see him tonight and cross some paths and talk about some things.”
I texted with Harding and he’s not positive he can come yet because he didn’t know Bickell would be playing.
“Would love to be there to support him and show my respect to him,” Harding said. “It’s a heck of a battle dealing with what he’s dealing with and I respect the heck out of him for batting through that.”
Bickell said, “Definitely the family helped me get through this moment with the goods and the bads and the rough patches here and there. To get some words of wisdom from a guy that’s been through it definitely helped I know a lot of people reached out through these months to know this day was going to come so I’m happy to be here against the Wild, I’ve scored a couple goals against these guys in the past and hopefully I’ll get one tonight.”
Bickell said Harding shared, “Just things that physically he went through, obviously the treatments. … I know with MS you need to keep cool, and that was a big thing for him. He was a goalie. He had to stand up the whole time. I get breaks. I get to sit on the bench. But it’s nice to reach out to him and get some thoughts off of what he’s been through. Hopefully he can be here tonight, and to meet him for the first time, it would be real special.”
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forwards Bryan Bickell and Andrew Poturalski from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Forwards Phil Di Giuseppe and Lucas Wallmark have been reassigned to Charlotte.
Bickell, 31, began the 2016-17 campaign with Carolina and notched one goal in seven games before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in early November. He returned to game action with the Checkers in late February and scored one goal and earned three assists (4 points) in 10 games with Charlotte. The Bowmanville, Ont., native was acquired by Carolina on June 15, 2016, from Chicago, where he was a member the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Bickell (6’4”, 223 lbs.) was drafted by Chicago in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft, and has scored 66 goals and earned 70 assists in 391 NHL career regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.
from Brian LeBlanc of Canes Country.
In an interview with Czech newspaper Blesk, Nestrasil blasted the Hurricanes organization, expressing his displeasure with the lack of opportunity given to him after returning from his injury. The interview was translated from Czech by Reddit user doytch33. Below are some quotes from the interview:
I'm on the farm team, maybe it's all because of my injury. That bothers me. Right now I have the capability that I had last year. It's not even my fault I'm on the farm team, it's more the organisation's changes and decisions. They did, what I think, is best for them. And I'm down here.
They didn't give me much a chance after the injury. It's a big learning experience for me, that when it's about business and money, everyone starts caring about themselves and no one wants to help. Obviously exceptions exist, but I haven't run into any. When I first got hurt, they wanted to help and were promises me things all over the place. But when it came down it, they weren't willing to actually do anything.
I think Ron Francis likes me as a player. But the coach didn't want me. And now they're happy that I'm on the farm.
I'm done here, 100%, and I don't want to stay here. This was such a frustrating and mentally draining year that I'm not going to repeat it. Still fifteen games left, so we'll see. The worst part is that I'm playing for people and a team that doesn't want me. And now I don't want to play for them.
more and do remember, at time, quotes get lost in the translation...
Bill Peters after practice today.
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
added 1:31pm, Carolina release is below...
added 10:27am, Carolina press release is below...
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
The Canes, after the time off, play their next five games at PNC Arena — Colorado, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Calgary — and should be in desperation mode. Their schedule split the rest of the way is favorable: 17 games at home and 12 on the road, all played in 52 days.
Of the 58 available points left for Carolina, the Canes likely need at least 40 to be in the playoff conversation, meaning something like a 19-8-2 finish. As Peters said, that’s daunting.
The Canes will next practice Thursday at 4 p.m. and face the Avalanche on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“You only get one practice and then you play a team that’s in the rhythm of playing, so you’ve got your work cut out for you,” Peters said. “You’ve got to dig in and find a way.”
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