After spending the 2013-14 season away from the game, defenseman Keith Seabrook is returning to hockey signing a one-year, two-way (AHL/ECHL) contract with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday.
He is the younger brother of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman, and two-time Stanley Cup champion, Brent Seabrook.
Keith Seabrook, 26, has not played since the fall of 2012 when he signed a contract with Val Pusteria of the Italian Serie A League. After scoring eight goals and 18 points in 18 games, he asked out of his contract and returned home in November 2012.
Once returning to North America, Seabrook spent time working on a business venture near his home in Vancouver.
Originally a second-round pick of the Washington Capitals (52nd overall in 2006), Seabrook has not played professionally in North American since the 2011-12 season where he split time between the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage and the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones.
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When you think of brothers playing hockey together, the last names that come up are either “Howe” or “Sedin” but you might have to add “Toews” to that list some day.
The Chicago Blackhawks acquired captain Jonathan Toews younger brother David Toews in a trade with the New York Islanders for future considerations. Just like his big brother, David spent two years at the University of North Dakota. Instead of jumping to the pros after two years with the Fighting Sioux, David headed off to the WHL and played for the Brandon Wheat Kings last year where he had 20 goals and 28 assists.
David was a third round pick of the New York Islanders back in 2008 and while he hasn’t played a year of professional hockey as of yet, this will be his first season in the AHL. Now he’ll get to take part in the same camp as his big brother and potentially get a shot at playing alongside him in the future. Toews will most likely play in Rockford in the AHL this year. CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers notes that David will be taking part in the Oshawa Rookie Tournament in Ontario with the Blackhawks this weekend.
Jonathan Toews isn’t the only Blackhawk player with a brother playing hockey in the minor leagues as Brent Seabrook has his younger brother Keith Seabrook playing in the Florida Panthers’ system.
The Florida Panthers and GM Dale Tallon aren’t limited to just signing every free agent available under the sun. Tallon is also an accomplished trade worker as well and today he pulled off three separate deals all with Canadian teams. Two of the deals feature former top prospects coming back to Florida in return.
First up, the Panthers traded defenseman Kenndal McArdle to Winnipeg for former Pittsburgh first round pick Angelo Esposito. Esposito was once believed to be the future at center for the Penguins but was later traded to the Atlanta Thrashers as part of the Marian Hossa deal. Esposito has dealt with injury problems throughout his career and has yet to crack through to the NHL because of it. McArdle will fit in well into the depth mix in Winnipeg and he’s got some NHL experience with the Panthers.
The Panthers then dealt the rights to restricted free agent forward Mike Duco to Vancouver for the restricted free agent rights to top prospect Sergei Shirokov. While Duco shouldn’t be a problem to be signed for Vancouver, Shirokov bolted for the KHL. As George Richards of On Frozen Pond shares, the Panthers might have a wait to see him play for the team.
Shirokov recently left the Canucks to return to his KHL team in Moscow. According to Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo.com, Shirokov has a three-year deal. Florida now holds his NHL rights although Chesnokov says Shirokov’s contract doesn’t have an out clause.
Shirokov scored 22 goals in each of the past two seasons with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and was a two-time AHL all-star. He had 17 goals in 56 games in his final season with CSKA Moskow of the KHL before heading west.
If this storyline sounds familiar with the Canucks sending a highly touted prospect to the Panthers it’s because it happened just last year. The Canucks traded Michael Grabner to Florida in exchange for defenseman Keith Ballard but then waived Grabner who was then claimed by the Islanders and had a breakout season scoring 34 goals for the Isles. Should Shirokov get back to North America anytime soon and have similar success, we’re going to have to start taking a closer look at what Canucks GM Mike Gillis is doing with his young talent.
The third deal the Panthers did was a minor league deal swapping defensemen with Calgary sending Jordan Henry to Calgary in exchange for Keith Seabrook. Seabrook is the brother of Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook.
The final piece of business the Panthers took care of was re-signing center Ryan Carter. In 62 NHL games last year with the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, and Panthers he scored three goals and six assists. With all the latest additions in Florida, Carter could find himself spending a lot of time in the AHL in San Antonio.