The Chicago Blackhawks might not want to have Brent Seabrook play every night next season. The team might be better off letting Seabrook take on the role of a seventh defenseman, but it is up to Seabrook to earn his role at the end of the day.
Brent Seabrook had operations on his hips and one of his shoulders after getting healthy scratched for a few games back in December. In April, Seabrook was feeling great, and by the time the NHL got back together for a little training camp before the bubble, Seabrook almost ended up with the team.
I have been critical of Seabrook in the past, and I think I could be a little more optimistic about his play. Seabrook might not be as young as he used to be, but he still has a few more years of hockey left in the tank. While he will never be as good as his contract shows him to be, he still can be a reliable defenseman for this team.
The hardest part about Seabrook finding a position next season is right now; he is the odd man out. Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, Ian Mitchell, Adam Boqvist, Nikita Zadorov, and Calvin de Haan. In an ideal world, that is the Blackhawks top six next season. However, luckily for Seabrook, he controls his own destiny.
Seabrook needs to make the decision to scratch him difficult for Jeremy Colliton. That means he needs to come back better than ever and play with a new strength and speed Blackhawks fans have not seen the past few years. Maybe he can find that extra energy to finish out his career.
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Seabrook has and will always be an important part of the Chicago Blackhawks. He is the team’s assistant captain, and he has always been one of the more important vocal pieces in the locker room. Even though Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are the faces of the Chicago Blackhawks, Seabrook was here before they were, and he helped build what the Blackhawks are now.
If Seabrook can come back stronger, faster, and better than ever, then I am hopeful for what he can bring to the team. Even if he is not playing every night, splitting games with a player like Ian Mitchell or someone else on the defense would not be the worst thing in the world for him. Or if he isn’t at the top of his game after all the surgeries, then the team has a very expensive seventh defenseman ready to go.
Seabrook controls his own destiny with the Blackhawks, and his legacy is not set in stone just yet. While the past few years have not been great for the ‘Hawks defenseman, he still has the chance to turn things around. If he can, that would be great for the team as he is under contract for the next few years.