While the Brent Seabrook contract doesn’t look as bad as it used to, it still needs to be traded away for the Chicago Blackhawks to be successful. Chicago is paying Brent Seabrook 6.8 million through the 2023-24 season, and a contract like that will keep them from being competitive.
Brent Seabrook earned his contract. While it was not a great signing, goals like the one Blackhawks fans celebrated yesterday against Detroit, are the reason he got this long contract.
Brent Seabrook means a lot to the Chicago Blackhawks and the fans, but his contract needs to be shipped out.
A first-round pick, a top prospect, anything is in play to get this contract off of the books. Personally having this kind of cap space during the off-season to sign a top free agent or two could be the difference-maker for this organization. Even if they end up holding back a million or two on this deal to get a team involved, they do have the space to retain another contract.
Seabrook’s contract will still be on the books a year after Alex DeBrincat’s contract expires. It will still be on the books after Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist are looking for new deals, and it will still be around after Patrick Kane’s current contract is expired. During a normal stretch of years when the salary cap is going up, sure this team can hold onto Seabrook’s deal, but if they want to be in the playoff mix within the next two or three seasons, they need this space.
Connor Murphy, Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, Adam Boqvist, all three Hawks goalies, and Kirby Dach are all coming off their current contracts at the end of next season. Each one of them is going to be able to demand a little bit more money than they currently have, assuming some of them are not traded away by then.
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In keeping those players around and having the luxury of a little more cap space to add some free agents, I think that it is imperative that the Blackhawks trade the Seabrook contract away.
Personally, I believe getting it off the books would be worth a first-round draft pick and a top prospect like Lukas Reichel. While I am excited to see what Reichel could bring to the table, the value of that extra cap space is more important to the future of this team.
The Blackhawks have certainly drafted some stars during their time with Stan Bowman, but also the team has found talent in free agency like Marian Hossa and signings overseas with players like Panarin and Kubalik. All of those signings are through free agency and require some more cap space.
Now a team like Detroit is an interesting candidate to take on the contract. They have a lot of cap space and would probably jump at the opportunity to pick up another first-round pick and a top prospect. I think it comes down to where Stan Bowman is envisioning this team in the next two or three seasons.
If they want to be competitive before the start of the 2024-25 season when this deal is officially off of the books, then yes getting rid of it is worth the cost. However if he does not see the team being good to go until after then, then yeah keep the deal around and stay the course.
A lot of possibilities for this team moving forward, with big star names like Seth Jones saying he plans to test free agency when his current deal is done, having cap space could be the difference-maker for an organization like the Blackhawks.
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