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Chicago Blackhawks: Brent Seabrook and the Contract Conundrum

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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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) /

Why the Panthers are a Good Fit

Joel Quenneville is now their head coach and he has always loved Brent Seabrook. Seabrook had his best years under Coach Q, and even though his production has slowed down, it is possible both of them would want to reunite.

I’m sure Seabrook wouldn’t mind finishing his career with Coach Q. It has been talked about by Blackhawks’ fans on social media, but nothing serious has ever come from it.

Why the Canucks are a Good Fit

Brent Seabrook’s hometown of Richmond, CA is 41 minutes from Vancouver. In recent years, a lot of players have wanted to finish out their careers in their hometowns.

Recent examples being John Tavares, 28, being Mississauga, CA which is close to Toronto and the now-retired Brian Gionta, 40, played in Buffalo which is around 2 hours from his hometown of Rochester, NY.

What Happens with Brent Seabrook’s Contract?

The problem is his long, terrible contract. Vancouver has just over $5,000,000 open for their salary cap.

Florida has just under $3,000,000. Vancouver would be the easier option of the two.

Chicago would have to take back a player from Florida, which would ruin the whole salary dump idea.

The best option for a Chicago/Vancouver trade would be Chicago giving up a 2nd and 3rd round draft pick, with Seabrook for someone like Alex Biega, 31, who hasn’t had much success in the NHL.

Is It Really Necessary to Trade Brent Seabrook?

The short answer is yes. The Chicago Blackhawks need to first make sure to keep Dylan Strome, 22, and Alex DeBrincat, 21, on their roster with both of their rookie deals expiring after the 2019-20 season.

With Corey Crawford‘s, 34, contract also expiring at the end of the season — same with Robin Lehner, 28 — Chicago will have $11,000,000 AAV coming off the books next offseason.

Chicago needs to keep Lehner at least, and if Corey Crawford will take a “hometown” discount, keep him as well.

There will be around $19,000,000 AAV free going into the offseason anyway, so Strome and DeBrincat will be back for the 2020-21 season.

That leaves Erik Gustafsson open with possibly $4,000,000 left to spend, at the most.

Getting rid of Seabrook would open up $6,875,000 AAV and almost guarantee Gustafsson a spot on the 2020-21 Chicago Blackhawks’ roster.

By moving Seabrook, Chicago would then have around $26,000,000 AAV to spend next summer.

With $26,000,000 AAV to keep guys in Chicago, you could easily lock up both Strome and DeBrincat, keep Gustafsson, make sure to keep cap space open for the younger guys, like Dach and Boqvist when their contracts expire, and possibly get someone cheap in free agency.

There are a lot of possibilities, but chances are Seabrook won’t be leaving Chicago anytime soon and that will put Stan Bowman in a really tough spot.

We can’t blame Seabrook. Bowman gave him this contract and he just signed it. As of right now, if Seabrook stays, the Chicago Blackhawks’ winning window will be a lot shorter than what they had from 2009-2017.

Let’s just hope Stan Bowman can pull something out from his bag of tricks to keep this “One Goal 4” alive.

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