Hurricanes announce forward Bryan Bickell’s MS diagnosis

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Friday that forward Bryan Bickell had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Bickell played seven games for the Hurricanes this season with one goal to his credit, scored during the team’s home-opener against the New York Rangers.

His last game played was against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 30.

“First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family,” executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“He will need to take some time to 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 the process.”

In his own statement included in the team’s release, Bickell said, “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.”

Bickell, Chicago’s second-round pick, 41st overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft, was acquired by Carolina on June 15, 2016 from the Black Hawks, and was a member their Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

He has scored 66 goals and earned 70 assists in 391 NHL career regular-season games played with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.