Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, GM Ron Francis announced Friday.
Bickell, 30, has scored one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season.
"Since the 2015 playoffs, I've been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn't right," Bickell said in a statement released by the team. "Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love."
A 6-4, 223-pound native of Bowmanville, Ont., Bickell was acquired June 15 from the Blackhawks, for whom he was a member of Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
"First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family," Francis said in a statement. "He will need to take some time to rest in the immediate future, and we will support him as he takes the necessary steps for his health. We ask that his privacy be respected during the process."
Bickell was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round (41st overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft. He has scored 66 goals and added 70 assists in 391 NHL career regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.