NEW YORK, July 1, 2012 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Stu Bickel on a new contract.
Bickel, 25, tallied nine assists and 108 penalty minutes in 51 games last season following his recall from Connecticut (AHL) on December 18. He was one of seven NHL rookie defensemen to have tallied at least one shorthanded point, with a shorthanded assist while making his NHL debut on December 20 at New Jersey. Bickel ranked third on the Rangers with 12 fighting majors. He registered four assists and posted a plus-four rating in three games to begin his NHL career from December 20 at New Jersey to December 23 against Philadelphia, including a two-assist performance in the final game of the streak. Bickel also skated in 18 playoff contests with the Rangers.
Prior to his recall, Bickel registered two goals and seven assists for nine points, along with 135 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL). He was tied for third on Connecticut with a plus-four rating at the time of his recall. He also recorded a shorthanded assist on December 16 against Bridgeport.
The 6-4, 210-pounder has skated in 144 career AHL games over four seasons with Connecticut, Syracuse, San Antonio, and Iowa, registering five goals and 16 assists for 21 points, along with 318 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played (60), assists (10) and points (12) in 2010-11, while splitting the season with Connecticut and Syracuse. Bickel tied for fourth among Connecticut defensemen in goals (two), fifth in assists (seven) and fifth in penalty minutes (135) that season. He recorded his first AHL multi-point effort with a goal, his first with Connecticut, and an assist on November 27, 2010, against Bridgeport. Bickel made his AHL debut on October 10, 2008, against Peoria, and tallied his first career AHL point with an assist on February 16, 2009, against Lake Erie.
The Chanhassen, Minnesota native was acquired by the Rangers from Anaheim in exchange for defenseman Nigel Williams on November 23, 2010. He was originally signed by the Ducks as a free agent on July 2, 2008.
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