"I am so proud to have played my entire 15-year National Hockey League career in Chicago with the Blackhawks. It was an honor to play the game that I love, with teammates I love, in front of fans I love, in a city that my family and I have grown to love. After several surgeries, countless hours of rehab and training to get back on the ice at the level of my expectations, it will not be possible for me to continue playing hockey. This is what is best for me and my family. The love and support of my wife, Dayna, and my kids, Carter, Kenzie and Dylan has meant everything to me. My parents, Gary and Suzanne, and my brother Keith, have been behind me every step of the way and are my foundation". --Brent Seabrook
This is news that we probably all knew was coming for some time, but the finality of it is still a gut punch. Brent Seabrook was the rock upon which this dynasty was built. A guy who was seemingly underappreciated by fans, but never undervalued by his teammates. A truly great Blackhawk for 15 years and without him the dynasty would not have been possible. He delivered whatever the team needed. An unquestioned leader in the locker room. A physical presence in his own end. Blocked shots. Bombs on the PP. Stretch passes out of his own end that fueled some of the most exhilarating hockey the game has ever seen. Seabrook was a warrior and we will all miss him.
Seabrook's career really marked the beginning and the end of something incredible in Chicago. A hockey renaissance in the city. I remember going to games in 2006-07 and for the first time as a Hawks fan I had genuine hope. You watched Seabrook, Keith, and Sharp and thought that maybe the future would be brighter. At 21 years-old he had a presence on the ice and you could tell he was the right kind of guy. A guy that could have a C on his chest, but didn't need one. Toews was eventually named captain and he deserved it. Toews was the captain, but Seabrook was the Dad. A guy who commanded respect whenever he spoke. A guy who instilled the cultured that would become the foundation of the organization. I've never heard anyone say a bad thing about Seabrook. He was a pro every single day and when the team needed someone to come through in the clutch it felt like Seabrook ALWAYS answered the bell. The guy had TWENTY playoff goals including this one
and this one
and this one
He's involved in so many of my favorite memories and I am not just talking about the Blackhawks. I mean for my entire life. I don't think anything could ever top the Game 7 against Detroit. I've never heard an arena that loud. I had chills as we all poured out on to Madison after the game chanting Detroit sucks and those chills still come back to this day when I close my eyes and think about that goal.
My other was also with Seabrook. The night of the Stanley Cup party in 2015. I was the LAST guy who should've been invited, but Seabs and Sharp made me feel like I belonged with the boys. Made me carry the Stanley Cup out of Tavern. Helped me drink out of it. For the most part though, Seabrook didn't move that night. He didn't have to. Wherever we got off Seabrook found a spot in the bar and posted up. He didn't have a group. He was in everyone's group. Kane would sit with him. Then Keith's group. Then Sharpie. Even the Finnish guys who didn't socialize with anyone except for Seabs. I was just sitting back and watching that night and it felt like everyone on the team was going over to Seabrook like he was Godfather or something. He was beloved by everyone and he always will be.
I hate that his career is ending this way. It doesn't feel right. A press release and probably a video montage tonight to an empty stadium. He deserves better because he gave this organization and this city everything. Put #7 in the rafters, replay the tribute from his 1000th game, build him a moving statue that has that luscious lettuce that you could hit a nice soft 60degree wedge off of. Love Seabs