Chicago Blackhawks defender Brent Seabrook announced Friday that his NHL career ended after 15 seasons.
“After several surgeries, countless hours of rehabilitation and training to return to the ice to the level of my expectations, it will not be possible for me to continue playing hockey,” Seabrook said in a statement Friday. “This is the best for me and my family.”
Seabrook, 35, has not played in an NHL game since November 2019. Over a three-month period, from December 2019 to February 2020, he underwent surgery on his right shoulder and both hips. The defender “pinched” his back in a pre-training camp session in January. Blackhawks team doctor Michael Terry said it was a problem with his right hip preventing Seabrook from playing. Terry said the team has “tried every conservative treatment available, and nothing has worked well enough for him to live his life as an athlete.”
Chicago placed Seabrook on long-term injured reserve. He was hired until the 2023-24 season, with a maximum cap of $ 6.875 million and a total no-move clause.
Seabrook, a first-round pick for the Blackhawks in 2003, finished his career having played in 1,114 games and scored 103 goals and 361 assists. Most important to Blackhawks fans, he played in 123 playoff games (20 goals, 39 assists) and helped the team win three Stanley Cups.
“Without Brent Seabrook, the Chicago Blackhawks would not have three Stanley Cups,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He concludes his career not only as one of the best defenders in franchise history, but as a [of] the best Chicago Blackhawks of all time. We can’t thank Brent enough for what he did for the Blackhawks organization, the city of Chicago, and this fan base. He will always be a part of the Blackhawks family and we wish him the best in his life after hockey. “
The Blackhawks are currently in a rebuild, and Bowman told ESPN this summer that his team has a “way to go” before it can win again sustainably. There was a commitment to play with more young players this season. The Blackhawks, however, have been one of the pleasant surprises of 2021. At 12-7-5, Chicago is fourth in the Central Division, which would qualify for the playoffs.
“I sacrificed everything for this team in our quest to lift three Stanley Cups and gave everything I had for you,” Seabrook said in a statement. “I couldn’t have asked for a better fan base to play in. You, more than anyone, kept me honest and always pushed me to be better, while also cheering me on as your All-Star and Champion. Lifting the Stanley Cup in 2015 In front of all the fans at the United Center it will be a memory I will never forget. You have truly made Chicago a second home. My family and I will be forever grateful for your love and support and I look forward to always having a special connection with you fans. I’ll always be a Blackhawk. “