Bickell was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2004 draft and spent his first nine seasons with the Blackhawks, winning three Stanley Cup championships. He was traded to Carolina in June 2016.
The 31-year-old Bickell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last November and played in just 11 games with the Hurricanes. He announced his retirement in April and scored a memorable shootout goal in his final game.
The Blackhawks also placed forward Marian Hossa on long-term injured reserve and signed defenseman Cody Franson to a one-year contract. Forward Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Gustav Forsling were recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League.
Hossa has been ruled out for the season because of severe side effects from medication to treat a progressive skin disorder. It's unclear if he will be able to play again.