Blackhawks: Could Brent Seabrook be gone after 2019-20?
By Ryan Fedrau
With the NHL being paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rumors of the NHL having a compliance buyout, the Chicago Blackhawks could be moving away from the aging star.
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook just turned 35 last month and is coming off of major surgeries. The problem with that is, Seabrook is being paid $6,875,000 for the next four years.
Breaking down Seabrook’s contract, he has a no-movement clause for the next two seasons, where he cannot be traded or moved on waivers unless he agrees to it. There’s no way he’d agree to anything other than a trade.
In 2022, Seabrook will have a modified no-movement clause, where he picks a certain amount of teams he’d be willing to go to if he were to be traded.
With $6,875,000 on the line and an aging defensemen far past his prime, the Blackhawks certainly are regretting that eight-year extension they have Seabrook just a few years ago. The best thing that can happen to the Blackhawks would be a compliance buyout, especially if the salary cap doesn’t move up next season.
If the Blackhawks were to just buy out his contract in full, they’d be hurting themselves more than just putting him on the ice. The issue is, as the team gets younger, Seabrook’s contract becomes more of an issue, as they’re not going to bench a player who is being paid $6,875,000 per season.
So, if the NHL gives every team a compliance buyout, aka a get out of jail free card, it’s almost certain that they’d use it on Seabrook. It truly stinks as a fan to have people just think of Seabrook and his bad contract, but the NHL is a business.
What I hope happens, if there isn’t a compliance buyout, is Seabrook can return and play well next season. If he was playing hurt the last few years, that could explain the lack of production, but if he can go next year at a decent pace, it could help the team.
There’s a lot to think about going forward with this team. The team getting younger and more productive with their younger players would help kick-star a new dynasty. That would include getting rid of some of the older players on the team that are past their prime though.
The good thing with Seabrook is, he’s a good teammate. He is good for the younger players and has reportedly helped our Kirby Dach a lot. Dach currently lives with Seabrook, as he has been since starting in the NHL. That just shows the kind of great guy Seabrook is.