2010-2011 Player Evaluations: Brent Seabrook
Brent Seabrook ended the season as one of the Hawks best players. He was physical, a sudden threat on offense and willing to block any shot in his area. He didn't start the year that great though. There were plenty of times where Duncan Keith infected Biscuit with whatever he was suffering from. However, the fact that Brent Seabrook put up such a quality season despite his usual partner going on a Magical Mystery Tour speaks volumes to the kind of player he has become. Without his normal safety blanket, Biscuit was playing with Niklas Hjalmarsson, who is kind of the same player only not quite as talented. Despite this, Seabrook still had a solid season and managed to put up a career high in points. Seabrook also managed to sign himself a big contract and make sure he's set for the next 5 years. Nice to see Stan not wait to the last minute, eh?
#7 / Defenseman / Chicago Blackhawks
Apr 20, 1985
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Contract Status: Signed through 2016 ($5.8 Million Cap Hit)
Positives: As mentioned above, Seabrook really found a way to step up his offense this season. For most of last year Seabrook played the stay at home role, letting Duncan Keith join the rush. This year, Seabrook was forced to step more into the offensive role and he managed to do pretty damn well. He finished the season just outside the top 10 in assists for defensemen league-wide. He also gathered more time on the power play (he averaged over a minute more per game than last year), playing the point along with Sharp. He shined here too and his point total jumped from 6 power play points last year to 20 in 10-11.
It wasn't all offense for Seabrook though. He continued his physical presence on the blue line. He had four times as many hits as any other Hawks d-man and only two others in the league had more. Seabrook is one of the few players the Hawks can depend on to lay out an opposing player, especially after Hammer developed a bit of stage fright following his suspension. He also set a career high in blocked shots. Not bad.
Negatives: Well, while he didn't have the horribly inconsistent year that some did, Seabrook wasn't straight out of the gate amazing. He seemed to struggle a bit early on, some of which may been shock at whatever it was Keith was trying. Some it also could have been his on-going contract negotiations. After he ink dried, his play improved drastically. He still had moments of boneheadedness and more than a few passes that went awry.
There's more than just a few bad decisions with the puck to worry about with Seabrook though. For the second year in a row, Biscuit got his bell rung... and rung hard. That's two years in a row that Seabrook has looked dead on his skates. Seabrook managed to come back after the Raffi Torres hit but his play in the game seven was suspect at best. Everything about his game was off and he was likely brought back way too early. Hopefully he has a quiet off season and can avoid any major damage next year. Three major concussions in three years... no me gusta
Defining Moment: I really hate to make too many of these defining moments things that happened in the Vancouver series but this hit from Torres was a major turning point for the series and a moment that helped the Hawks play like the team we had been fucking waiting for all year.
All quotes in the locker room seemed to make it seem like the team was playing for Seabrook after this hit which is great... though it would have been better had game 7 gone differently.
Outlook: Umm.. not to harp on this whole concussion thing but it is kind of a big deal right? We all know Seabs is a hell of a hockey player and absolutely key for the Hawks future, especially now that they've locked him up for the next 5 years. How well he recovers from his brain scrambling and how he's able to avoid another major hit are pretty big factors for next year. There's no real reason to think he won't make a full recovery and continue to be his upward trend for a while still but there's still a bit of me that worries about how much he can take. Beyond that, there's plenty to look forward to.
Final Grade: B+, One of the best and most consistent Hawks last year... at least for the latter half of the season.