Blackhawks: A Flat Cap Means Salary Cap Changes, But Who?

Patrick Kane #88, Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Patrick Kane #88, Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
Brent Seabrook #7, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Chicago’s Prospects (Buyout Brent Seabrook)

If Bowman wants to do something outrageous he could just skip signing anyone, and simply buyout Brent Seabrook’s contract. Of all the options discussed here, this is probably the least likely to happen. Chicago would be on the hook for years, but the fact that the team has no choice, but to keep Seabrook on the roster has become a problem. He’s played his way down the depth chart and last season was probably the worst of his career.

What makes this problematic is that he’s still under contract for several more years. It’s one thing to have an overpaid, underperforming player on the roster, but it’s another when that player is an obstacle to the team’s improvement for years to come.

Based on comments just before the team shipped out to Edmonton for the playoffs, you can’t help but wonder if some kind of conversation was had between him and the organization.

At the very least, buying out Seabrook would make room for younger players working their way up. If the rest of the veterans don’t like it, well, too bad. The players aren’t the coaching staff, nor are they making the deals to improve the team. Making the team better is the GM’s task.

Bowman’s job isn’t to be sentimental about what the team has been, he’s responsible for improving it. Resolving the problem that has become Seabrook’s contract, a problem of Bowman’s own making, is something that needs to be addressed. Seabrook is essentially the team’s 6th or 7th defenseman until he proves otherwise, but being paid as if he were still on the top pairing. The only way to get him off the roster may very well be to force him off if he can’t accept that he’s not playing at the level he was years ago.

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The emphasis this year is going to be on making the fewest number of changes while the team accounts for a flat cap. Bringing in just one player wouldn’t be enough to solve the team’s problems, but it’s a start. Additionally, with the expansion draft just around the corner, there aren’t many players that Chicago would be worried about exposing for selection by Seattle. This upcoming season may prove to be a bit rough, but it will set up a lot of positives moving forward.