The Chicago Blackhawks said they were committed to re-signing forward Bryan Bickell after a huge postseason and they did just that on Sunday. The Stanley Cup champions announced Bickell signed a four-year extension to remain in Chicago and pass on free agency.
As for the price tag, well, it was relatively costly. As first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN, the deal is worth $16 million, or $4 million annually against the salary cap. After the breakout postseason he had, you knew he was going to get paid and Bickell just did.
It was questionable if the Blackhawks would be able to keep Bickell with the raise he was due. But then they used their two compliance buyouts to clear some room and on Sunday made two trades, shipping out Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik to continue to free up space. It was enough to ink Bickell to the new deal.
If Bickell had gone to free agency, it's very possible he would have been offered a little more than what the Hawks signed him for. Teams always fall head over heels for guys who have big postseasons like Bickell just had.
It's certainly a risk for a guy who performed above his normal levels in the postseason but the Blackhawks know what they have in Bickell. He was a guy they felt comfortable putting on the scoring lines even if he isn't the biggest scoring threat they have. Not to mention he's a very big forward who can add more than just a scoring touch he showed during their Cup run.
Of course it didn't hurt his cause that he had nine playoff goals, including the game-tying goal with less than 1:20 to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to start the Blackhawks' stunning comeback.