GM wants Bryan Bickell back

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is hopeful the team can re-sign playoff hero Bryan Bickell, who will be a free agent this summer.

"Obviously, Bryan is in a position where he can sort of control these things, and I think he's made it clear he wants to be back as well," Bowman said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "That's great to hear. We've been through a lot together. We drafted him. We've helped get him to this point in his career, and I think he really understands his role here.

"We certainly want to bring him back. That's our objective right now. We're working on that and some other things, and there's a short amount of time to do it. We're optimistic and hopeful."

Bickell's ninth playoff goal tied the Boston Bruins with 1:16 left in Game 6 before Dave Bolland's score 17 seconds later won the Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. Bickell also had eight assists in 23 playoff games after notching nine goals and 14 assists in 48 regular-season games.

Before the Stanley Cup finals, Bickell said he would like to return to the only NHL team he ever has known.

"I got drafted in '04 with this team," he said. "I think this is a second home to me. To be brought up through the minor leagues and being here the last couple years has been an honor. I feel this is a home to me. I have a lot of friends and family with me in the city. I enjoy it a lot here."

Re-signing the 27-year-old Bickell, who made $600,000 this season, likely will require making more moves to free up cap space. He is in line for a hefty raise due to his playoff performance, and the Blackhawks have just more than $2 million in cap space.