Chicago Blackhawks Brent Seabrook Not Happy With Being Healthy Scratch

Brent Seabrook
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 10: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the home opening game at United Center on October 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook has been in the NHL for 15 years and has only been a healthy scratch once. Now, all of a sudden he will find himself watching his second straight game from the press box when his team faced the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Brent Seabrook Upset Over Not Playing

Seabrook told NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis, “I don’t think I need rest. I think I feel great. I’m 34. You guys seem to want to write articles about my age and my speed. I feel like I still got a lot to offer in this league and (can) still be a good player for somebody.”

When a player makes a statement like that he is almost saying, “play me or trade me.” Seabrook doesn’t have a modified no-movement clause until the 2022-23 season. He is currently in the fourth year of his eight-year $55 million contract he inked in 2015.

That contract would be awfully difficult to unload on another team. Again, why did the Blackhawks feel the need to tie him up for eight years when he was 30-year-old? It’s not that he’s washed up. And he certainly is adamant about still being able to play… at least in his opinion.

Seabrook sat out the last game against the Los Angeles Kings and has only tallied one goal and no assists in nine contests this new season. His ice time has been reduced by over four minutes a game, so it seems like the Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton doesn’t agree that Seabrook’s play reaches the level it needs to be to put him in the starting lineup.

Seabrook is the only right-shooting D-man on the roster since young Connor Murphy is on long-term injury reserve with a slow healing groin injury. That doesn’t seem to matter to Colliton. He is still sitting Seabrook perhaps to make the point that he needs Seabrook to improve his play. Mostly young prospects are the players chosen to be sitting in the press box. Roster limits or the player’s level of development are usually the cause.

Will Seabrook Demand a Trade?

It could happen. He’s been in trade rumours before and now that he doesn’t seem too happy, he could say, “I’m outta here.” The Blackhawks could be moving in a direction which omits Seabrook while they play younger players on the blueline. Dennis Gilbert has played three games and is just turned 23-years-old. Calvin de Haan who was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes has appeared in nine games and has the same output as Seabrook with one assist but is getting more ice time. Yet, Seabrook sits.

This may all be about Colliton attempting to see what his younger D-men can do. It doesn’t appear that Seabrook is playing horrible or needs to be taken off the ice. The team is struggling with just a 3-6-2 record. Any NHL coach will experiment at times to see what can be done to improve the team’s fortunes.

It also could be that the team is considering what to do with a player who has a huge contract and is aging. Unloading his contract in any possible trade scenario won’t exactly be an easy endeavor.

Going Forward

It will be most interesting to see if Seabrook is playing in the ‘Hawks next game. They in L.A. on November 2nd. With a few days off to evaluate things, will Colliton sit Seabrook again? It may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back from Seabrook’s perspective. Something must be going on if a player of his caliber sits for no reason.

If you’re a Blackhawks fan it may be wise to keep close tabs on what Brent Seabrook’s future with the team turns out to be.

One thing is certain, he wants to play and isn’t getting ice time.

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