One day before the Chicago Blackhawks open their training camp at Notre Dame, the team announced that 11-year veteran, Brent Seabrook will don the "A" as the team's 2nd alternate captain this year. With the trade of veteran, Patrick Sharp to the Dallas Stars, there was a vacancy to fill the leadership position on the team.
Seabrook, 30, has spent his entire career with the Blackhawks. He's played in 763 games, while tallying 318 points (71G, 247A) while averaging 22+ minutes a game. He's come to be known as Mr. OT and Mr. Clutch by some for his clutch goals throughout his career, especially in overtime. Of his 71 goals 14 of them (20%) have been game-winners.
On May 29th, 2013, he eliminated the dreaded arch-rival, Detroit Red Wings out of the playoffs with an overtime goal in game 7 of the semi-finals. Seabrook played a very big role during that series as he helped keep Captain Jonathan Toews focused in a Game 4 loss to Detroit as Toews, uncharacteristically, took three 2-minute minor penalties within a 7-minute time period. After that game, which gave Detroit a 3 games to 1 advantage in the series, the Blackhawks came back to win out and complete the comeback.
Three weeks later in Game 4 of the Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins, he delivered an overtime winner to even the series and prevent a 3 games to 1
hole. The Blackhawks would go on to win their 2nd Stanley Cup in 4 years.
On April 21st, 2015, Seabrook helped the Hawks capture Game 4 against the Nashville Predators in the Quarterfinals with a 3-OT game-winner. He would go on to lead all defensemen in goals in the 2015 playoffs (7), in route to the team's 3rd Stanley Cup in six years.
Seabrook was the Blackhawks' 1st round pick (14th overall) in the 2003 NHL Draft. He's been part of one of the top defensive tandems in the NHL with fellow alternate captain, Duncan Keith for his entire career. His leadership will be counted on this upcoming season with the loss of Johnny Oduya.
At today's press conference Seabrook acknowledged, "I'm very honored to wear a letter for the Chicago Blackhawks."
Toews added, "For many years, he's been one of those guys that we can look up to and learn from. He's been a great friend and a great teammate. We know that won't change the way he does things, and he's been a huge part of our locker room and our success on the ice."
Word from Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc, is that the Blackhawks and Brent Seabrook's agent are discussing a long-term deal extension. Seabrook is currently in his last year of his contract. Fans will be pleased if an extension can be made considering the loss of many of the players that were on the roster last year. Stan Bowman will have to work his magic though considering the Blackhawks have 15 players signed with $12.5 million available for the 2016-17 season. If anyone can get a long-term deal done, it is Bowman.
So a sincere stick tap and congratulations to our new alternate captain, Brent Seabrook.
LET'S GO HAWKS!!!