Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Brent Seabrook and the Contract Conundrum

By Ryan Fedrau
Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Brent Seabrook and his contract have been a punchline for a while now. What options do the Chicago Blackhawks have at this point, in regards to Seabrook?

Heading into the 2019-20 NHL season, the Chicago Blackhawks have acquired some young studs on defense including Olli Maatta, Calvin de Haan, and hopefully, bringing up Adam Boqvist for the start of this upcoming season.

With those two big additions, Olli Maatta, 24, is a $4.55M AAV hit to the Chicago Blackhawks’ cap and Calvin de Haan, 28, is a $4,083,333 AAV hit to the Blackhawks salary cap. Both players are signed through the 2021-22 season.

Looking at the future, Erik Gustafsson, 27, will be a UFA this offseason and Slater Koekkoek, 25, will be an RFA this offseason. If you have to lose one of the two, I would rather lose Koekkoek.

Erik Gustafsson had a break out year last season with 60 points (17G, 43A) in 79 games. He has played well in this new Jeremy Colliton system and could be a key part of the future success of the Chicago Blackhawks.

When you look at Brent Seabrook, 34, who is signed through 2023-24 with a cap hit of $6,875,000 AAV, it is important to think about the future.

Seabrook’s production is way down compared to what he used to be and I am not saying he is a bad player, he has a bad contract. Brent Seabrook’s contract gives him high expectations that he just cannot live up to anymore.

The new signings and young players coming up will need to be paid. Erik Gustafsson, if he as a season like he did last year, he will want a contract close to Seabrook’s. That puts Chicago in a tough spot.

Do you ask Brent Seabrook to waive his no-movement clause to help the team? Would he be willing to leave?

There actually was a rumored trade which involve Seabrook and the 3rd overall pick for Vancouver’s 10th pick. The trade obviously fell through and Chicago drafted Kirby Dach instead.

If Stan Bowman is willing to get rid of Seabrook, with his blessing of course, where would he go?

My best guess is either Florida or Vancouver. The trade could be Brent Seabrook and Chicago’s first-round pick in 2020 for either team’s first-round pick.

It’s going to take a major sweetener and a prayer to unload Seabrook — and his $6.875 mil AAV cap hit — and not have to retain any salary.

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