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Blackhawks rumors 2017: Brent Seabrook has ‘zero chance’ of being traded, per report

It appears we can cross that one off the list for now.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks may be looking to trade a prominent name soon, but it seems we can cross Brent Seabrook off the list.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said Monday on the radio that there’s “zero chance” of a Seabrook trade happening this offseason. Around the same time, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that multiple sources said the Blackhawks “have little interest in dealing him.”

LeBrun reportedly went on to say that the Blackhawks have not discussed Seabrook with any other teams, and that they value his leadership in the locker room. Multiple recent reports have said the team hasn’t asked Seabrook to waive his no-movement clause.

None of this sounds particularly surprising considering the team gave Seabrook a massive eight-year, $55 million contract less than two years ago. It’s clear the team values his contributions on and off the ice very highly, even as fans have began to question whether he’s worth a $6.875 million annual cap hit.

Seabrook does remain an effective player on the ice. During the 2016-17 season, he finished tied for 24th among all NHL defensemen with 39 points. That’s not the best way to evaluate a player at his position, but Seabrook’s possession numbers also rebounded after a rough 2015-16 season in that area.

Even if he’s more of a solid second-pairing defenseman who thrives on the power play than a true top-pairing stud, which is how he’s being paid for the next seven seasons (jeez), there’s little doubt that Seabrook remains an integral part of what the Hawks do and who they are.

His contract has long been the issue, and it also wouldn’t be surprising if it plays into why the team has no interest in moving him. Given that Seabrook has a no-movement clause, it’s fair to wonder what kind of deal it would take to convince him to leave. The odds of finding that kind of deal are admittedly low, so maybe the team is just sticking with its man partially because the circumstances dictate it so.

The real risk is that Seabrook, 32, could decline rapidly through his 30s and become an anchor on their salary cap, but that hasn’t happened yet. With that said, I’m less enamored by the “leadership” argument — Seabrook might be part of the soul of the team right now, nobody is denying that, but surely there would be others in the room to pick up the slack if the right deal came along.

So put it all together, and you get the sense that whatever GM Stan Bowman is up to right now, it doesn’t involve the veteran defenseman.