Editorials

The Effects of Blackhawks’ Loyalty to Keith, Seabrook

By Jimmy Lynch
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 07: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks grabs the puck ahead of Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres in the second period at the United Center on March 7, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 07: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks grabs the puck ahead of Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres in the second period at the United Center on March 7, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Rumors circulated earlier this week that the Chicago Blackhawks tried to move Brent Seabrook’s gigantic contract.

To me, those rumors show an issue and a blessing the Chicago Blackhawks have had in recent years, which is loyalty.

Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith will always be legends in Chicago. The two Blackhawks’ alternate captains are 3 time Stanley Cup Champions and arguably the best defensive pair in franchise history.

They also hold the best and worst contracts in the history of the Toews-Kane era.

Duncan Keith is not the player he was 4 years ago. He recently transitioned from being an elite NHL player to a top 4 defenseman.

Keith still shows signs of his former greatness in big games with the game on the line. However, the playoff star is in hibernation until the ‘Hawks go on another playoff run.

Duncan Keith signed his current contract back in December of 2009, before he won 3 Stanley Cups in 6 years, along with a Conn Smyth and a Norris Trophy.

The then 27-year-old Keith signed a 13-year contract for $5.538 million dollars a year. With a team full of stars, the Blackhawks locked up their top defender.

Duncan Keith’s contract came before the NHL set an 8-year max limit on the term of an NHL contract. Keith signed himself to the city of Chicago for 13 years, with a no trade clause included.

Keith was loyal to Chicago the same way Chicago has been loyal to Keith. One way the Blackhawks showed their loyalty to Keith came in September of 2015.

Brent Seabrook’s 3rd contract with the Blackhawks came to term after the team won their 3rd Cup in 6 years. The ‘Hawks could have signed him for just a few more years.

At the age of 30, it was obvious the best years of Brent Seabrook on the blue line were behind him. Instead, the Blackhawks opted to sign Seabrook to an 8-year contract worth $6.875 million AAV.

The Blackhawks showed loyalty to Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith by ensuring the two defenders never leave Chicago.

Sure, Seabrook is a leader, and sure, the Blackhawks find his voice off the ice more valuable to the team than 6.875 million dollars per season, but at the same time, is he worth it? Most would say no.

The Blackhawks would argue Seabrook’s contract is more of an issue than a blessing. The ‘Hawks almost tried giving up the 3rd overall pick as a sweetener for taking Brent Seabrook’s contract. This would have been worse than the Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell trade.

Stan Bowman has made some good signings and some bad signings. Well, look no further than the Blackhawks’ top defensive pairing of the decade to see an example of a good and a bad signing.

In the end, the two players will always be Blackhawks legends. For a refresher, watch this play from the Blackhawks’ first round of playoffs in 2014.

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