While Brent Seabrook’s career has been plenty decorated — Olympic gold, two Stanley Cups — the Chicago defenseman feels a big individual award could be in his future: The Norris Trophy.
“I feel like I can reach that point, but that’s for [the media] to decide,” Seabrook told the Chicago Tribune about being a candidate for the Norris, given annually to the league’s best defenseman.
“I’m just playing the game and trying to help the Blackhawks win.”
The 28-year-old is in the midst of a stellar campaign, racking up 23 points through 36 games — putting him on pace for a career-high 52 points. He sits fifth among NHL defensemen in scoring and is tied for first with a plus-18 rating, leading the Blackhawks in hits (90) while sitting second in blocked shots (61).
Great numbers to be sure, but there’s one big hurdle standing in the way of Seabrook’s potential Norris candidacy — his frequent defensive partner, Duncan Keith.
Keith is among the NHL’s elite blueliners, having captured the Norris in 2009-10 and finishing sixth in voting last season. This year, the 30-year-old is having another banner campaign, leading all NHL defensemen in assists (with 28) while ranking second in points, with 30, trailing leader Erik Karlsson by just one heading into Tuesday’s action.
Keith has high praise for Seabrook, explaining that, at least within the confines of Chicago’s room, No. 7 is recognized as a key cog to the team’s success.
“I know in the dressing room he gets the credit,” Keith said. “I don’t really know what gets said outside our room a whole lot, but he’s always been one of the key members of this team with winning two Stanley Cups.”
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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