In a surprising announcement, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook revealed Friday that he was ending his career in the NHL after 15 seasons, all of which were played in Chicago, due to long-term injury concerns.
“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," Seabrook said in a statement.
"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," he continued. "This is what is best for me and my family."
Blackhawks Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry said Seabrook underwent surgeries on both hips and his right shoulder in three months between December 2019 and February 2020.
“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," Terry said. "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.”
Seabrook, who has not played since Dec. 2019, put an end to a career that saw him hoist three Stanley Cups and appear in more games than all but two players in the history of the organization.
In 1,114 career regular season games, Seabrook scored 103 goals and dished out 361 assists, with a +111 plus/minus rating in those contests. He also scored 38 power play goals in his career, with 121 assists on the man-advantage.
As great as Seabrook was in the regular season, he was an even more impactful performer in the playoffs, with 20 goals in 123 postseason games. His series-winning goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 playoffs is likely his most famous tally in the playoffs, and he also notched a game-winner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins in that postseason run.
Seabrook scored seven goals in the Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup run, helping the team to a third title in six seasons.
"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," Seabrook said. "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.”
In Dec. 2019, Seabrook began to undergo a series of surgeries and although he had skated occasionally with the team in the interim, he didn’t end up making it back into game action after those surgeries were completed.
Seabrook’s 1,114 games rank third in Blackhawks history, trailing only Stan Mikita and Seabrook’s long-time teammate and defensive pairing-mate Duncan Keith.
His 464 points rank him sixth among the team’s defensemen all-time, and he is one of only five Blackhawks blue liners to score 100 or more goals, joining Keith, Doug Wilson, Bob Murray and Doug Mohns.