Bickell to return to Chicago Blackhawks soon?
The Chicago Blackhawks placed Viktor Tikhonov on waivers Saturday, likely a move made to bring Bryan Bickell back from Rockford.
Bickell was assigned to the Hawks' AHL affiliate on Nov. 2. He has racked up 7 goals and 7 assists in 12 games with Rockford going 8-2-1-1 with Bickell in the lineup.
After the Hawks practiced at Johnny's IceHouse West in advance of their game Sunday against Winnipeg, Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw were asked about Bickell.
"It's good. I'm happy for him," Kane said. "He's a guy a few years back who was a huge part of our team. He can be that guy, can play pretty much any line on our team from first line to third line and be effective."
Both Shaw and Kane said they've been in touch with Bickell via text because, as Shaw said, "that's what friends do."
"He's a good friend and a good teammate," Shaw said. "I think everyone would be excited to see him and I think he'd be excited to be up, if that's the case."
The Hawks are dying for help on the left wing, so if Bickell can come back and be the player they expect him to be, coach Joel Quenneville is all for it.
"Putting it all together for Bick, that's the challenge," Quenneville said. "But there are always some good parts to his game -- he can skate, he can shoot, he can hit hard. So there's some good attributes there and just putting them all together … in that consistent fashion is what we want to see.
"When he delivers it, it makes us a better team."
Bickell played in seven games for the Hawks before being demoted. He had no points, took just 5 shots on a goal and had a minus-3 rating.
Tikhonov, who was signed to a one-year, $1.04 million contract, played in nine of the first 10 games but has been a healthy scratch in 13 of the last 16. He also has no points.
If Tikhonov is not claimed in 24 hours, he can be assigned to Rockford and Bickell can be called up.
He said it:
"He actually (told) me the other day that he's got something that translates all the media articles if I'm sick of pumping his tires during the article."
Patrick Kane on Artemi Panarin