Blackhawks: Where Does Brent Seabrook Fit In 2020-21?
By Ryan Fedrau
After missing the majority for the 2020 NHL season due to injury, Brent Seabrook finds himself in a weird spot going into 2020-21 with the Chicago Blackhawks. Where does he best fit?
The Chicago Blackhawks struggled defensively during the playoffs, that is no secret. Their younger plays made some key mistakes and left Corey Crawford out to dry in some of those games. They still found a way to beat an offensive juggernaut in the Oilers and keep the series against Vegas close.
A former staple to the Hawks blue line, Brent Seabrook, finds himself in a weird spot. He is almost forgotten about, but he still could make an impact defensively, whether it’s on the ice or as a 7th defensemen, helping out when needed but being there to mentor the younger players.
Seabrook is a great guy to have in any locker room. He’s a team-first player, and he has always been a solid player for the Hawks. In the past, he’s battled through injuries, he’s been a Top 2 defenseman for the Hawks, and he’s won big games for the team in the playoffs. (Insert Game 7 vs Detroit, Game 4 against Boston)
The question is, can he still play at a high level? Seabrook has had hip and shoulder issues for the last 5-10 years, he claimed after getting the surgery. He says he’s feeling the best he’s felt since then, which is a positive for the team.
If Seabrook is to play next season, a healthy, more motivated Seabrook is who they want there on the ice. He can still make an impact for the Hawks in moments if given the chance.
The best role for him would be starting as a 7th defensemen. The 82-game schedule is rough, and for the severity of the surgeries he had during the season, it’ll be even tougher. I see him as a locker room leader, helping out the younger defensemen, and stepping in a few games here and there.
There are many roles he can play. This situation reminds me of Brian Campbell’s last season with the team. He wasn’t there to be a top player, but he took the mentor role to a top-level when given the chance to work with Adam Boqvist.
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It’ll still be interesting to see him on the ice, as I am hoping he can return to a high level again. If he truly was in discomfort and that slowed him down, maybe the surgeries were in his best interest. Seabrook might not start the season is a top defenseman, as they have many guys in the minors who are bidding for spots, but if he can help out in any way in the locker room and on the ice, you know he’ll be there.