Chicago Blackhawks legend, Brent Seabrook announced his retirement today, after more than 15 years with the Hawks! It comes as a surprise and is obviously an emotional time for Seabrook, his family, the team and the fans. I don’t really know what to say, but I feel like I need to say something.
What can I say? I was 13 when the Blackhawks drafted Brent Seabrook. 15 when he made his debut. 20 at the first title. 25 at the last. I’m in my 30’s now! That’s a large chunk of my life in which Seabrook has played hockey for my beloved Blackhawks. Well over 1000 games of hockey. 1,114 to be precise.
That’s a lot of mileage and unfortunately, it takes it’s toll on the body. Seabrook is 35 years old now and has been on the IR list since December of 2019. That winter, Seabrook has 3 surgeries and has been rehabbing ever since, in the hopes of getting back on the ice.
His body wasn’t having it and after a discussion with his doctor, he decided it would be best to call it a day. Was it his decision though? Seabrook was quoted as saying “I don’t know if it was a decision I made or my body made for me”. The good news is, Seabrook is still young and has a lot of life ahead of him. He has promising future ahead of him, whether hockey is involved or not.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t emotional about it and there were definitely tears shed when I watched his goodbye interview with Eddie Olczyk.1,114 games. 18 years, 3 Stanley Cups. 3 Gold Medals. 3 game winning goals. That’s a lot of fond memories I’ve been left with to tell my daughter about. She loves ice hockey and unfortunately, she never got to see Seabrook take the ice. Don’t worry, I’ll fill her in on it all.
I was glad to see a standing ovation for Seabrook during the first TV timeout. Both teams and the referees, stopping play to pay homage to the legend. I wish COVID wasn’t a thing, it would have been nice to hear the roar of the crowd one last time. I’m sure the United Centre will make up for it when we hang the number 7 in the rafters.
It’s been a bittersweet year to be a Blackhawks. Crow retired. Toews is absent with an unknown medical condition. Shaw is back in the concussion protocol. Seabrook has now joined the list of retirees. The core four has been cut in half. It’s always sad to see your friends go, but we have reasons to be optimistic for the future. De Haan, Murphy, Lankinen, Subban (did you see that game today!?), Suter, DeBrincat, Highmore, Kampf, Hagel, Wallmark, Nylander, Carpenter, Boqvist, Kurashev, Janmark, Zadorov, Kubalik, Strome, Dach and of course, Kane and Keith. We’ve got a pretty good team. They fight hard and they are easy to believe in. We will always miss number 7 though.
Good luck, Seabrook. Thanks for everything and I look forward to seeing the next chapter of your life.