Brent Seabrook will be healthy scratched vs. Senators

Coach Q is trying to send a message to the veteran defenseman.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will miss his first game of the season as a healthy scratch against the Ottawa Senators. The veteran blue liner confirmed head coach Joel Quenneville’s decision to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus following practice Tuesday morning.

It’s fair to say this move will elicit a reaction from the fan base given where Seabrook’s career has gone the past couple years. The beloved defenseman has become a target for the oversized contract he signed in 2015, which won’t expire until after the 2023-24 season. His $6.875 million contract is the 10th-highest among NHL defensemen.

Seabrook’s play has been mixed this season, rather than the outright disaster his healthy scratch might suggest. He has 11 points and a 51.5 percent even strength Corsi in 41 games. A lengthy stretch next to Connor Murphy went quite well until a disastrous night against Vegas, and it seems like things have unraveled a bit from there.

There’s not really any way to sugercoat this given Seabrook’s long-term standing with the team. He wasn’t the one who offered himself $55 million, and it’s not really his fault he’s declining in his 30s like every other player, but that context will loom over decisions like this one.

Seabrook will surely be back in the lineup soon enough, hopefully with fresher legs. Maybe even Wednesday considering the Hawks are right back on the ice to face the Wild.

Still, we’ve reached the point: Brent Seabrook is being healthy scratched.