Bryan Bickell becomes the third Chicago Blackhawks player — and first Blackhawk from North America — to sign with a European team. (As previously reported, Michael Frolik was the first to sign with a European team, going to Piráti Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga. Michal Rozsival then signed with HC Plzeň in the same league.) He broke the news himself via his Twitter last night.
Bickell signed with Orli Znojmo of the Erst Bank Eishockey Liga, also known as the Austria Hockey League. You know what that means. Time to destroy — er, translate another article with Google Translate! This is a long one, so read it after the jump.
Znojmo hockey fans can look forward to a real treat. The shirt with an eagle on his chest starts attacker on the ice of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks Bryan Bickell. Twenty-six Canadian player won in 2010 with his famous Stanley Cup team, now help the Czech representatives in international Erste Bank League. ”We expect to end in particular the quality and attention before wicket,” said Eagles head coach Martin Stloukal.
The ongoing NHL lockout brings with it a number of interesting transfers to Europe, is no exception Erste Bank Eishockey League. Graz Austria signed the brightest hockey star Thomas Vanek present, another Austrian representative in the NHL Andreas Nodl heading to Innsbruck. Czech Extraliga fun spells Jagr Plekance, Cervenka and others. In the overseas waters Eagles also fumbled.
“We had a range of players, among which selection took place. We discussed the possible support of some sponsors for the arrival of top stars like Vincent Lecavalier, but the negotiations did not specific enough, the player would have been only 4 matches, so we decided instead to go longer way in which we can afford ourselves, “said coach Martin Stloukal .
The choice fell on Bickella Bryan, a native of the Canadian province of Ontario, the first ice hockey grew up in Toronto and then in the whole Ottawa Junior 67′s. In 2004, in the second round by representatives draftovali Chicago Blackhawks, in which the organization operates Bickell since summer 2006. Good performances on a farm in Rockford him in season 2009/10 brought into the first team Hawks, with whom in the play-off victory went to the Stanley Cup.
In the following year, which was first played complete, scored 17 goals and 20 assists. “It is a strong player, as is typical for NHL. We expect to quality in the end, increased emphasis front of the goal and contribution přesilových games, “says Stloukal. Bickell closed in Znojmo month contract with the possibility of extension for both parties. “If the lockout ends, of course, may return to overseas even sooner. According to the reports we have, but on the early end to lock-out does not look too much.” (hcorli.cz)
That was almost completely understandable! As the last paragraph states, the contract is for one month, with a possibility for an extension if the lockout goes longer.
Does that first quote from the head coach mean that the team expects Bickell to be a net-front presence? Uh… maybe every other game, Znojmo.