NEWS: Stu Bickel Re-Signs With The Rangers

The Rangers have announced that Stu Bickel has been re-signed.

Larry Brooks notes that the deal is for two-years and worth $750,000 per season. Katie Strang tweets that it is a one-year deal.

Bickel averaged 10:26 per game in the regular season and had nine assists.

He had 12 fights during the regular season.

In the playoffs, Bickel played 18 games and averaged 5:09 per game.

55% of readers voted that they wanted to see Bickel back this season.

Adam Rotter: A nice move for the Rangers and Bickel can battle for one of the last spots on defense, can play a little forward, is tough and a guy that everyone seems to like. It’s a depth move and gives Bickel the chance to keep working with the team and become a better player.

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Poll: Should The Rangers Bring Stu Bickel Back?

Bickel had nine assists this season, four in his first six games, and averaged 10:26 per game. In 17 games in March, Bickel averaged 13:41.

He had 12 fighting majors during the season. In the playoffs Bickel averaged 5:09 per game. In 9 games in April he averaged 4:43 and in 9 games in May he averaged 5:35.

Bickel is a UFA.

Note: Stu Bickel Is Getting More Ice Time

Before the Rangers loss to Ottawa, as Kenny Albert and John Giannone noted last night, Stu Bickel had only been on the ice for six goals against all season and not in the 16 games preceding it.

After a stretch from January 14th to February 24th where Bickel played under ten minutes in every game, he has played at least 11:35 in six of the last seven games and over 17 in two of the last three.

Earlier this week John Tortorella told Ranger Rants,”He’s a real interesting one to us, because he continues to simplify his game and his game becomes better when he becomes more simple. The minutes he got he deserved. He had some struggles with some other guys along the way. He brings an element of willingness when you need to have it. There are some big-time warts on him sometimes. But he has slowly understood trying to play within himself and his game has improved as a result of that.”

He told the Daily News that he had to adjust to playing fewer minutes when he got called up, “It’s not like I ever really got used to playing five minutes a night, so when I did have those games early on, that was definitely an adjustment for me.”

Bickel told John Giannone last night that he feels good about getting more ice time,  “It gives you some confidence, its nice to see the coaches trust me in certain situations. I feel like I have done pretty well so far and I have improved my game since I have been here.

He is an RFA at the end of the season.

Read: Stu Bickel’s Future Is Not At RW

This weekend Stu Bickel played ten shifts of RW on the fourth line for a total of 7:52.

Bickel drew a penalty yesterday in the first period and on Saturday, Bickel had a roughing penalty and a ten minute misconduct.

Yesterday on 1050 ESPN Radio, John Tortorella said that Bickel’s play at RW isn’t a long-term solution:

He had a couple of good shifts and drew a penalty. It’s a guy with versatility and someone that, as we continue to work with him, we can try and give him some shifts there.

It seems like the team wants to keep Bickel up and insert him into games where things may be a little rougher, and that includes tomorrow against Boston. Following that I think the team may call up a forward and keep Bickel up to work as a defenseman and get better as a player.

Read: Stu Bickel LOVES To Fight

Against the Flyers yesterday, Stu Bickel had two fights and three minor penalties in 8:16 of ice time.

In the post game show, John Tortorella joked that every time Bickel was on the ice he either took a penalty or got in a fight, but added that he gave Bickel “high marks” for his play yesterday.

Michael Del Zotto told, Ranger Rants, “He’s probably one of the hungriest guys in the league to get a fighting major. He never backs up. It’s just amazing what he did for the team tonight.”

Brandon Dubinsky told ESPN NY,

“We joke around in here a lot that he’s never going to shy away from an opportunity to get five minutes. He’s tough,” Dubinsky said. “He’s a guy that’s come in here and earned a job. He’s been great for us. You can’t ask for anything more from a teammate than a guy that steps up to the plate and puts his body on the line every night.”

At Rangers Report, Carp writes “Kid’s got some onions. Keep him here. He doesn’t have to play every night, he doesn’t have to play in third periods. But he’s an asset. No doubt about it.”

Stats: The Last Two Games For Stu Bickel

In the last two games, Stu Bickel has played a total of zero minutes and zero seconds in the third period.

Against Montreal on Sunday:

Against Nashville on Tuesday:

Last week, John Tortorella talked about Bickel and what he brings, “He’s a rangy physical guy that is willing to play in the areas and do the things that you need to do to be a home defenseman. Working on his puck skills and outlet passes, along with his reads and how we play defense is going to take some time. He certainly warrants the time of being here and us having more time with him”

Tortorella also talked about how as a big man, Bickel may make mistakes but he can still impede the opposition.

I wonder if Bickel will fall into the same issue that Dale Weise did and they will attempt to send him down and at $600,000 someone will pick him up off of waivers. I think Anton Stralman is a better fit as the seventh defenseman and there is also Jeff Woywitka to deal with when everyone comes back.

Read: Stu Bickel Is Making His Mark

As Larry Brooks points out in the NY Post, tonight will be Stu Bickel’s tenth game as a Ranger and following that he would need to pass through waivers in the event that the team would send him back to Hartford.

Bickel, who is averaging 11:05 per game told Brooks that he is getting a lot more coaching with his game now than he did when he first came up:

“There’s been a fair amount of teaching about my positional play, so I just have to continue learning and staying with it.”

Marc Staal told Brooks that Bickel is very confident on the ice.

Bickel has four assists and two fights this season.

Bickel is a RFA after the season and has a cap hit of $600,000.

I think that with Bickel and Jeff Woywitka, with the possible recall of Tim Erixon, the Rangers won’t make a move for another defenseman at the deadline. Bickel has been a nice surprise and has provided some of what was lost when Michael Sauer went out. I think Bickel has definitely made a good enough case to stay and an even better one to get a new contract for next season.

Read: Stu Bickel Offensive Superstar

Last night Stu Bickel had two assists in the Rangers 4-2 win over the Flyers.

This gave Bickel four assists in his first three games in the NHL.

Bickel told Bill Pidto on the MSG postgame show that his uptick in points is due to the Rangers having forwards up front who can make plays.

He also told Pidto that he prides himself on playing the same kind of hockey he always has.

John Tortorella said on the post game show “freaking Bick, he plays nine minutes and he gets a couple of points.”

Bickel has sort of stolen the thunder that I thought Anton Stralman would bring to the lineup, instead, Stralman is playing over 20 minutes a night and throwing hip checks. Bickel has made some nice plays to get assists, he has also just held the puck, waiting for Brandon Dubinsky to go coast to coast against the Islanders.