(670 The Score) After a storied 15-year career, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook’s playing days are done.
Seabrook announced Friday morning that he’ll be unable to continue playing after being beset by injuries in recent seasons. He and the Blackhawks stopped short of using the word “retirement” in their joint announcement, but he won’t take to the ice again. Seabrook had two hip surgeries and right shoulder surgery between December 2019 and February 2020, and he hasn’t played since.
Seabrook, 35, played his entire 15-year career in Chicago and was a key figure of Blackhawks championship teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. He was also an All-Star in 2015.
"I am so proud to have played my entire 15-year National Hockey League career in Chicago with the Blackhawks,” Seabrook said in a statement .”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.
"I want to thank the Blackhawks organization -- including the Wirtz family, Rocky and Danny Wirtz, Stan Bowman and Jeremy Colliton -- who have been very supportive throughout this process. I'm thankful for all that the Blackhawks have done for me and my career. This organization drafted me as an 18-year-old kid out of western Canada and this team became my family away from home. In addition, I'm thankful for the Blackhawks medical and training staff for always putting me in the best position to succeed on the ice. Over the past 15 years, I've played with and for some incredible teammates and coaches. I thank each and every one of you. It was an honor to wear the Blackhawks sweater and go to battle with you night in and night out. I loved being your teammate.
"Lastly, to the great fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, thank you. I sacrificed everything for this team in our quest to lift three Stanley Cups and gave it everything I had for you. I couldn't have asked for a better fan base to play for. You, more than anyone, kept me honest and always pushed me to be better -- while also cheering me as your All-Star and champion. Lifting the Stanley Cup in 2015 in front of all the fans at the United Center will be a memory I'll 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 the fans. I will always be a Blackhawk.”
Seabrook has stepped away from playing with his long-term health in mind.
"He has worked extremely hard to recover from those surgeries but has a long-term issue with his right hip that is preventing him from playing professional hockey," Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement. "We have tried all available conservative treatments, and nothing has worked well enough for him to live life as an athlete. We support his decision to prioritize his long-term physical health."