No – The Blackhawks Cannot Buyout Brent Seabrook’s Contract

Chicago Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

The topic of the Chicago Blackhawks buying out Brent Seabrook’s contract is back in the media. Here’s why the team cannot buy his contract out.

Every offseason the topic of the Chicago Blackhawks buying out Brent Seabrook‘s contract is brought up. The fact is, it’s impossible. The contract is buyout proof. How is it buyout proof you ask? Just look at it. There are four-years left on the deal with a cap hit of $6,875,000 per season. If they were to buyout Seabrook, they’d be stuck paying him for the next eight seasons, not four.

If the team went out today and bought Seabrook out, they’d acquire a $6,583,333 cap hit for the 2020-21 season, just to not play him. They wouldn’t benefit at all. The only thing that would do is open up a spot on defense.

In 2021-22, they’d have a $3,583,333 cap hit for buying out Seabrook. They’d go back to a $6,583,333 cap hit in 2022-23, with their last big cap hit being $5,083,333 in 2023-24. That would be the last year they’d have him under contract. It’s better to keep him than to pay him and lose a player on the roster.

The next four seasons from there would have a cap hit of $708,333 for buying out Seabrook. This is truly a lose-lose situation for the Blackhawks.

Now, the best way to get rid of some of that money would be to trade him and keep some of his cap. He’d have to go to a team that is rebuilding that needs money on their books for the next four seasons. Four-seasons is a long time to commit to. They’re likely going to be able to trade him in two years, not this year or next.

I’d assume they’d keep close to half of his contract, which is a steep price to pay. The only benefit is, they’d have around $3,437,500 more to spend.

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Is it worth it? I’m not sure. That’s a decision the team has to make. The benefit is, they open a spot for younger players to come in and play. The negative is, they’re still paying Brent Seabrook for the next four-years without getting a return on that investment.