Brent Seabrook is 35 years old today. Time does fly. Especially when you're basically as old as he is, which I am. I remember him being drafted. I remember him making the team. I remember his entire career that feels like it is over. I also remember so many GREAT Blackhawks moments over the last 10 years and he was involved in every single one of them. It really bothers me that people today love to trash him. People who don't remember that we ways part of the first wave of hope in Chicago. Bill Wirtz was still running things, Kane hadn't been drafted yet. Guys like Ruutu, Vrbata, and Jeff fucking Hamilton weren't exactly getting the job done. But...in 2006-07, 10, 7 and 2 made you want to believe. Those guys were 25, 23, and 21 that year. And for the first time in a long when you went to a Blackhawks team there were guys you were excited to see who weren't wearing the other team's jersey. Those were our guys. You could tell right away that they approached things differently than previous young talent. You could squint your eyes and hope for better days. They all wore a letter on their chest here and they all delivered.
Think of all the big moments. OT vs Detroit. OT vs Boston. Toews in box. Too many to recall and thousands of small moments and words that we don't remember. And now everyone wants to trash him in the twilight of his career because he's under contract during the twilight of his career. That is bullshit. It is NOT Brent Seabrook's fault that Brent Seabrook will make almost 100 million bucks from the Hawks by the time his contract is over. He has a good agent and a bad generally manager. He did what anyone would do and that is setting up his family with generational wealth. If that's a crime then we would all be guilty.
The Athletic did a great write up on him today. One quote stuck out to me
(the athletic)For Kane, it was Seabrook the cruise director whose absence he felt. The guy who made sure everybody was included and felt like a part of the team, regardless of how many minutes they played.
“Especially on the road,” Kane said. “He was the guy that, when you get into a city, he texts the group chat or a few guys and says we’re going to dinner here, and that was the plan for the night. He was a guy that I hung out with a lot on the road.”
I've met Brent Seabrook twice and this quote from Kane resonated. First time was after the 2015 Stanley Cup. I got invited to ride on the party bus with the team, not to brag. Big Cat's half invite and Darling's half invite added up to a full one and I was along for the ride. I was very out of place so I just kind of drank and did my best to fit in, but mostly I just people watched. Seabrook barely moved the whole night. Once he sat in a spot at a bar he wasn't moving. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he just didn't have to. Everyone kind of came over to him. Sharp and Keith hung out with him for a while. Andrew Shaw's crew came and sat with him. Kane. Everyone seemed to stop by Seabs. Even the Finnish guys who didn't talk to anyone besides themselves...and Seabrook.
The other time was his 1000th game party. Similar situation. Private party, I shouldn't be there, but I am. Everyone was cool to me, but Seabrook went out of his way to make me feel comfortable. Asked questions about me, barstool, etc. Never once was like, hey man...get the fuck out of my party. Just a good dude who has an undeniable presence about him. Toews is the captain, but Seabrook is like the team dad. Unbelievably important locker room and top 4 defenseman during an absolute golden era in Chicago that he helped usher in. Put #7 in the rafters and if you've got bad things to say about him after the fact take it elsewhere and consider yourself banned.