CHICAGO (CBS) — Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, a three-time Stanley Cup champion in his 15 years in Chicago, has announced the end of his playing career due to injuries.
“I am so proud to have played my entire 15-year National Hockey League career in Chicago with the Blackhawks. 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,” Seabrook said in a statement Friday morning.
Your leadership & determination to win meant everything to your teammates, the city of Chicago & hockey fans everywhere. We were proud to watch you hoist 3 Stanley Cups & reach all of your NHL milestones in a #Blackhawks sweater.
On behalf of our organization, thank you Seabs! pic.twitter.com/Bctnvz4dGs
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 5, 2021
Seabrook, 35, hasn’t played since December 2019, missing the second half of last season after he underwent two hip surgeries and right shoulder surgery in a five-week span.
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“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. 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,” Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement.
Under contract through the 2023-24 season, Seabrook has been placed on long-term injured reserve.
“Since stepping foot into the United Center as a 20-year-old rookie and over his entire 15-year career with the Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook gave everything he had to his teammates and the city of Chicago. His determination to win, passion for the game and innate ability to lead culminated in bringing three Stanley Cups to Chicago. Because of the sacrifices he made for his team, Brent’s hockey career has been cut short due to injury,” Blackhawks president and general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement.
Seabrook was a key player on three Stanley Cup championship teams in 2010, 2013, and 2015. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings in 2013 to send the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.
“Without Brent Seabrook, the Chicago Blackhawks would not have three Stanley Cups. He concludes his career as not only one of the best defensemen in franchise history, but one the greatest Chicago Blackhawks of all time. We cannot 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 well in his life after hockey,” Bowman said.
His 1,114 games with the Blackhawks ranks third all-time for the franchise, behind longtime teammate Duncan Keith and Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.
Source: CBS Chicago | News Colony