The Chicago Blackhawks signed forward Bryan Bickell to a one-day contract Wednesday so he can officially retire from the NHL as a member of the team.
Bickell, 31, was a member of three Stanley Cup championship teams (2010, 2013, 2015) with the Blackhawks and played 384 of his 395 career NHL games in Chicago.
Bickell played his last NHL game with the Carolina Hurricanes in April after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last November.
"As any professional athlete will tell you, stepping away from the game is extremely difficult especially given my circumstances," Bickell said in a statement released by the Blackhawks. "I'm honored to be retiring a Chicago Blackhawk -- a team that has given me and my family so many great memories. I appreciate Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman for allowing me this opportunity."
Originally selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2004 NHL draft by the Blackhawks, Bickell recorded 136 points (66 goals, 70 assists) in his 10-year NHL career. He scored a career-high 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists) during the 2010-11 season with the Blackhawks.
The 6-foot-4, 223-pound Bickell skated in 75 career Stanley Cup Playoffs games, totaling 20 goals and 19 assists.
The native of Bowmanville, Ontario, announced he had multiple sclerosis on Nov. 12, 2016, while with the Hurricanes. He was placed on injured reserve and began receiving treatment for the illness. He returned from injured reserve on April 4 and played four games with Carolina before his final game.
"We are thankful to Bryan for his accomplishments on the ice and we look forward to hearing his voice in raising awareness for multiple sclerosis as he fights the disease," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said.
During the 2013 run to the Stanley Cup with Chicago, Bickell appeared in all 23 games, scoring 17 points (nine goals, eight assists). In Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, he scored the game-tying goal with 1:16 remaining in the third period. That goal was followed by a Dave Bolland goal just 17 seconds later that clinched the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks.
Bickell played 11 games of the 2016-17 season with the Hurricanes. He scored a shootout goal in his final NHL game on April 9, helping the Hurricanes to a 4-3 win at Philadelphia.