Bryan Bickell has never shied away from discussing his multiple sclerosis diagnosis or how the disease affected his life and the lives of his family.
Bickell retired from the NHL after last season, after that memorable shootout goal for the Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia, but his fight against MS — and against allowing MS to define or control his life — continues.
Bickell, in a first-person account for The Players Tribune called “Grinder,” gives a gripping account of him first discovering he had MS, coping with the diagnosis, then having the resolve to return to the ice before the end of last season.
As he wrote, “I worked my way back for one last ride, and I’ll always be proud of that.”
Bickell, in considering his hockey legacy, wrote: “I want you to think about the guy who worked for it, and stuck with it, and won at it. I want you to think about the guy who retired on his own terms — and then moved through his 30s and 40s, into his 50s and 60s, into his 70s and 80s, like he skated through his 20s.
“By grinding, one day at a time.”