Yesterday, a staple of the game for the last 15 years had to hang up his skates. Brent Seabrook announced that due to (several) injuries, he has decided to retire. He has meant a lot to the city of Chicago and Blackhawk fans, both dedicated and fairweather. In honor of his departure, here’s a look back on all he has done for the Chicago Blackhawks and Team Canada.
Seabrook was a rare first-round draft pick in the WHL that made it all the way to the Show. He was drafted by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2000 WHL Bantam draft in the first round. It was clear from his play even in juniors that he was the assist man. Brent put up a very respectable number of points in his four seasons with Lethbridge, most of those coming from assists.
He was drafted 14th overall in the 2003 NHL draft by the Blackhawks. He played another season in the WHL, putting up 54 points in that ‘03-’04 season, a career-high.
Before Seabrook touched NHL ice, he played in four World Junior Tournaments (U17, U18, and twice U20). He had 3 points in 6 games in the 2004 Tournament where Canada won Silver (USA won Gold). In the 2005 World Juniors, he had 3 points in 5 games where Canada won Gold over Russia.
Seabrook spent his entire rookie year with the Hawks in the 2005-2006 season. He had 5 goals, 27 assists in 69 games, while racking up 60 PIMs. While he wasn’t quite Calder Trophy material, he had a very impressive rookie season and solidified his role as the Assist Guy (now capitalized). The following season his hard work was rewarded when he started the season on the number one defense pairing with NHL legend Duncan Kieth.
Luck and skill began to change in Chicago in the 2009-2010 season. Seabrook’s regular season wasn’t super impressive, only 30 points in 78 games. During the playoffs, he posted 11 points in 22 games on the Blackhawk’s way to Stanley Cup victory. 2010 was the first Cup win for Chicago since 1961.
Three seasons of average point totals later, Seabrook and the Hawks found themselves lifting the Cup for the second time in 3 years. Brent had 4 points in 23 playoff games during the 2013 campaign. I should note that despite the Cup, this was statistically his worst season; that said, he still had 20 points in only 47 games as a defenseman.
Still riding the high of the 2013 Cup, the Hawks came back (after a second-place finish in the Western Conference in 2014) in 2015 to win a third Stanley Cup in 5 years. Seabrook had 7 goals and 4 assists in the 23 games of their playoff run.
As is the way with most players, his point production slowly tapered after his 2016 high of 49 points in 81 games. He had 4 points in the 32 games of the shortened 2019-2020 season, and that was the end for Seabrook. In December 2019, the Hawks placed him on the IR for three surgeries to repair his right shoulder and both hips. And despite his intention to return to play in the 2021 season, a re-injury in the preseason sidelined him once again.
Though he’s not a staple Team Canada player like Crosby, Seabrook has had his time in the sun on the international stage. He played in the 2006 World Cup, where Team Canada placed fourth and he had no points. Not a great showing for either.
Four years later, he and Canada redeemed themselves in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. In what Americans called highway robbery, Team Canada won Gold thanks to NHL Golden Boy Sidney Crosby in overtime. Seabrook played in 7 games and notched 1 assist.
In his retirement, Seabrook gets to spend plenty of quality time with his family. It seems for now he gets to be a stay-at-home dad to his son and two daughters. No matter what his point totals were or how he performed on the ice, the hockey community wishes Brent the best. I’ll bet we’ll see him back somewhere in the Hawks organization again soon enough.
-Heidi Thomas (@DamselOnDrums)
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