Carolina Hurricanes LW Bryan Bickell diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Carolina Hurricanes left wing Bryan Bickell is now the second NHL player in recent years to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Crushing news has come out of the NHL this Veteran’s Day weekend, as Carolina Hurricanes left wing Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The team announced the news on Friday.

Bickell was signed by the Hurricanes this offseason after spending nine seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. He was part of three Stanley Cup championships with the team. He has played in seven of the Hurricanes’ 13 games this year and has one goal. In a statement released by the team, Bickell shared his feelings.

Since the 2015 playoffs, I’ve been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. 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.

He becomes the second player in recent years to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The disease attacks and scars the protective covering of nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild was diagnosed with MS back in November 2012. Harding played in the playoffs but only played in 29 games the next season. Harding officially retired in May 2015 due to complications from the disease.

Bickell sent a tweet out Friday evening thanking fans for the prayers.

Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said Bickell’s primary concern should be for him to take care of himself and get some rest.

Francis said the team will support him and asked that his privacy be respected during the process. Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough stepped up as well to offer his support.

More information can be found about the disease at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website.

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