VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Replacing Bryan Bickell may not be as daunting as playing without center Dave Bolland or defenseman Brent Seabrook, but the winger is a big loss for the Blackhawks.
Bickell underwent wrist surgery Monday to repaired a severed tendon suffered in Game 2 and missed Game 7 Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. He had become a solid contributor on Bolland’s checking line, which had the tough task of taking on Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
The surgery was scheduled and the Hawks were expecting to be without him at some point.
“We weren’t sure what was going to happen with him, [but] we knew it was kind of a day-to-day thing,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “But that’s the reality. We’re missing a key player. He was playing great on that line with [Bolland], checking their top players.”
Bickell suffered a lacerated tendon during Game 2 when he was cut by a skate. But there was window that allowed him to play before his scheduled surgery on Monday, when a team doctor could “complete the procedure appropriately.”
He sat out Game 3, but made a big impact in the next three games with two goals, an assist and a crushing shoulder-to-head hit on Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.
“It’s a big loss obviously,” Seabrook said.
With Bickell out, Troy Brouwer looks like the top candidate to move up from the fourth line. Marcus Kruger and Fernando Pisani are expected to fill out the fourth line in Game 7.