Bickell enjoying every moment of Blackhawks' offseason

Bickell enjoying every moment of Blackhawks' offseason
July 18, 2014, 9:30 pm
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Nina Falcone

The players stood in the hallways and caught up on their summers, most for the first time since their playoff run came to a close.

The seventh annual Blackhawks Convention began Friday afternoon with talks of signings, prospect camp and players' plans throughout the remainder of the offseason.

For Bryan Bickell, these last few weeks have been all about preparing for the birth of his daughter.

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"Biggest thing right now [is] keeping my wife healthy," he said. "She's eight months pregnant and we have a month left before our baby girl comes, so I've been doing a lot of cooking, keeping her happy and keeping her stress level down is my goal."

But that's not all that's kept Bickell and his wife, Amanda, busy.

The couple started the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation after moving to Chicago in an effort to raise awareness for Pit Bulls. The Blackhawks have joined them in hosting numerous events around the city, and the two still have plenty planned for the summer ahead.

"We actually have an event coming up Saturday, but I won't be attending because of the convention," Bickell said. "My wife and her friends are having a pub crawl and all proceeds go to our foundation. It's just another thing we've been doing around the city and we have more things coming up."

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It's an exciting time for Bickell, who seemed as happy as can be to become a father. Now he's looking forward to enjoying the weekend and having some time to catch up with his fellow teammates.

But for Bickell, it's not just about having time with the guys; it's also about connecting with the fans on a closer level.

"It's always nice to catch up especially for the convention and for the fans," he said. "It's a huge part of this team and what they do. There's not a lot of teams that do this. To give back to the fans, it's important for us.

"The whole thing I think is good. It's a busy weekend for us and I know there are a lot of fans out there running around and doing different events and having fun. Just to sign a couple autographs and take a couple pictures, it makes me happy."