2 – The Brent Seabrook Extension
I imagine this one haunts Chicago Blackhawks fans as much as it haunts Stan Bowman.
In September of 2015, the Chicago Blackhawks signed Brent Seabrook to an eight-year contract extension worth worth $55 million. Seabrook’s play throughout the playoffs and seasons prior along with how long he had been in the organization made him deserving of a hefty contract extension, but I don’t think anyone imagined it looking quite like this.
"“You can’t just go pick up a Brent Seabrook. If you don’t have someone like that, to be the performer that he is on the ice as well as the leader he is off the ice, if you don’t have Brent, you’re looking for the exact same player. We know what he’s all about,” Bowman said. “The salary cap is a puzzle that we all have to figure out. Every team faces those challenges. But I look at it as a great situation to be in."
Bowman’s quote here rings unfortunately true. Yes, guys like Brent Seabrook don’t grow on trees. Seabrook is a world class leader and competitor. But unfortunately, Bowman was also on the money about the salary cap situation. It certainly is a “puzzle” to say the least and he didn’t do himself any favors by locking Seabrook up until 2023-24.
Seabrook is a third-pairing defensemen at best right now and $6.8 million dollars is an awful lot to dish out to someone at that level. Most hockey players don’t get better the closer they get to 40 years old (Seabs is currently 33) the outlook doesn’t look fantastic.
Still, it’s impossible to overstate just how much he has meant to this organization. It’s hard to imagine the Chicago Blackhawks winning three Stanley Cups without him. Then again, it’s also hard to imagine them winning a fourth so long as he is taking up nearly $7 mil. in cap space a year.