Brent Seabrook was listed as a healthy scratch on both Sunday and Tuesday. That was just the second time in his NHL career the defenseman didn’t play when he was physically able to.
And, while there’s debate about how effective a defenseman Seabrook still is in the NHL and how much his salary overshadows what he can offer the Blackhawks or another NHL franchise moving forward, he will go down as one of the best Blackhawks’ d-men in history.
All that said, speculation is the Blackhawks might be ready to move on. They’re not saying as much, but the feeling is, perhaps it’s time to see what’s out there, if anything.
Seabrook Is Not a Happy Blackhawk
Clearly, Seabrook is not happy being forced to sit. “What do you think?” Seabrook said. “It’s not fun sitting out. Nice to see a big win the other night and hopefully we can get another one tonight but yeah.” He knows he can be better but he doesn’t feel washed up.
“I think I’ve been playing good,” Seabrook said. “I’ve obviously been on for some goals against. Tough situation, but I feel like I’m skating better, I feel like I’ve got a lot to offer this team.” And, as Seabrook tried to explain himself and respond to media who were asking him about his thoughts regarding not playing, you could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears.
Whether he was upset with the Blackhawks, the media, or a combination of both, Seabrook explained:
“I don’t think I need rest. I think I feel great. I’m 34, you guys seem to want to write articles about my age and my speed. I feel like I still got a lot to offer in this league and still be a good player for somebody. I’m just going to try and do my thing out here … try to work hard and get back in the lineup when I can, if I can and just try and be a good teammate.”
The Situation From Both Sides
Clearly, Seabrook could come back, he could be effective and all of this could become water under the bridge. It could also be that feelings are hurt, lines in the sand have been drawn and it’s almost time for both sides to move on, if they can.
Based on the above quote, Seabrook sounds ready to face the fact he might need to move on. When he says, “good player for somebody”, that’s not exactly a glowing endorsement that all roads lead back to the Blackhawks. Often reported as a player who wouldn’t have waived his rights to stick with the team the remainder of his NHL career, it sounds like maybe that’s changed.
The Challenge in Trading Seabrook
Seabrook is highly paid — he has the third-highest cap hit on the team ($6.875 million). He’s only half way through an eight-year deal and he has a no-movement clause until the final two years of his deal. That makes him difficult to trade, even if the last part is less of an issue now than it was before Seabrook felt disrespected by the organization.
And, maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves. While Seabrook is frustrated and there have been rumors the Blackhawks have tested the trade waters before on the player, they are saying all the right things.
“We feel he can help us win,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “He’s going to get an opportunity. There’s been other guys who have sat out and come in and been really good, so he’ll get that chance too.
Obviously trying to reinforce the door on Seabrook has not been closed, Collition did emphasize, “We’re doing what we can for the team.” Could that include moving him?