Brent Seabrook‘s ice time is down, and Joel Quenneville explained why this morning.
“I thought he had a great start to the season, defended well, [got] involved in the offense and shot off the point,” the Blackhawks’ head coach said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “Defensively, when he’s playing his best, he’s killing plays, going to people quickly, and [making] quick outlet passes. … We’d like to see him get back to that.”
On the season, Seabrook has two goals and 19 assists with an average ice time of 22:07.
But in Sunday’s 5-2 win over Nashville, the 31-year-old logged just 18:08. And two days prior, it was a mere 15:52 against Carolina, when he didn’t see the ice for the final six minutes in a 2-1 victory that required Scott Darling to make 39 saves.
Perhaps the last few games are just a blip, something every player goes through from time to time. Seabrook has earned the benefit of the doubt that he can get back to where his coach wants him to be.
But if it’s more than a blip, then it’s a problem for the Blackhawks, who have him under contract through 2023-24 for a cap hit of almost $7 million.
He’s not getting any younger.
Including the playoffs, Seabrook has already played 1,004 games in the NHL. Among active defensemen in the league, only seven have played more regular-season games than his 885.
As you can see, one spot below Seabrook is teammate Duncan Keith, with 876 games played. A couple of spots above is teammate Michal Rozsival, with 953. And a few spots higher is teammate Brian Campbell, with 1,043.