Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell rejoined the team for two games this week, nearly five months after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Visibly emotional after Thursday’s game, he indicated that retirement might be his next step, as had been speculated after his diagnosis with the disease of the central nervous system:
Bickell has been receiving monthly treatments since being diagnosed, but it’s clear that maintaining a career as a professional athlete won’t be possible. He officially announced his retirement today, saying that he would be with the team through the season’s final game next week.
“From where I was at my peak to where I am now, there’s a difference in my game. I don’t think I will ever get back to that point with the circumstances,” he said in an NHL release. “For the last couple months, from where I was mentally and physically to where I am now, it’s a big change. I’m just happy to finish up here and move on.”
The Hurricanes confirmed that Bickell will start both games, along with another form of support—his teammates surprising him at an MS charity walk this morning: