Former Chicago Blackhawks Forward Bickell Diagnosed With MS

Former Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, according to multiple sources

Stunning news came out of Carolina this afternoon as current Hurricanes and former Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

A quick rundown of the disease:

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced the news on Friday. Bickell, who won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 and 2015, was traded this past offseason with Teuvo Teravainen to the Hurricanes. Bickell was diagnosed with vertigo and a vestibular disorder in 2015 before being traded by the Blackhawks.

Bickell has noticed something was not right with his body for a while. He stated Friday:

“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,” said Bickell. “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.”

Bickell will be given time off from the Carolina Hurricanes to take care of himself. General manager Ron Francis had this to say about Bickell:

“First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “He will need to take some 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 this process.”

Bickell not the first NHLer with affliction

Bickell is the most recent NHL player to deal with MS issues. Former Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding dealt with MS issues also.

In case people forget, in 2013, Bickell scored the game winner on Harding to win Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals in overtime. The Blackhawks would go on to win the series.

Harding would only play 29 more games after losing to Bickell and the Blackhawks in 2013. Harding retired in 2015.

Bickell has one one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season. For his career, Bickell has 391 regular-season games played with 65 goals and 70 assists. His playoff numbers are: 75 games, 20 goals, 19 assists and three Stanley Cups.

Bickell will be remembered for his epic 2013 Stanley Cup playoff run, including one of the two goals in 17 seconds during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against Boston. Our hearts and prayers go out to Bryan Bickell and his family.

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