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Chicago Blackhawks: Brent Seabrook 2015-16 Over/Under

By Matt Barbato

September is upon us and the Chicago Blackhawks will begin their third title defense of the decade in just a couple weeks. The team kicks off training camp at Compton Family Ice Arena on the campus of Notre Dame Sept. 18, putting us a step closer to the end of a whirlwind offseason. Over the next couple of weeks, Blackhawk Up will project the stats of each player on the roster, using their career averages and numbers from a year ago to analyze whether that player’s stats will be over or under the projected total. 

The over/under series continues with a look at one of the core members of Chicago’s recent success, defenseman Brent Seabrook.

Seabrook has been a key member of the Blackhawks’ blue line in the last several years, and that continued in 2015. He logged 26:17 of ice time on average during Chicago’s 2015 Stanley Cup run, and that was the second most time on the team, behind fellow workhorse defenseman Duncan Keith.

So what can be expected from Seabs in 2015? He recently turned 30 last April and has averaged at least 22 minutes of ice time the past two seasons (and averaged 21:59 of ice time during the 2012-13 season). Could a regression be on the way?

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2014-15 Projected Over/Under: five goals, 26 assists

2014-15 Actual Stats: eight goals, 23 assists

This projection was right on the button. Seabrook stayed right around his career averages last year in his 10th season.

2015-16 Projected Over/Under: six goals, 26 assists

Prediction: Under

Someone is going to take a step back among Chicago’s top three defensemen, and Seabrook is a more likely candidate than Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Seabrook has already shown some regression defensively and could see a dip in production this season.

The other question is who Seabrook will play with this upcoming season. He could get paired with Keith, but Joel Quenneville doesn’t put those two on the same pairing as often now as he did in the past. He could pair with new Blackhawk Trevor Daley, but that could lead to too many deficiencies on the blue line. Hjalmarsson and Seabrook could be a good match, but Quenneville may need to use Hammer to cover either Trevor van Riemsdyk or David Rundblad.

Seabrook is in a contract year and there were some small rumors that the ’Hawks were shopping Seabrook to save cap space this offseason. The upcoming season could define the rest of his tenure in Chicago, but the arrow may be pointing down on the veteran defenseman.

Next: 5 Ways To Prepare For The Season

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