Blackhawks’ Seabrook, de Haan out for the season

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The Blackhawks return from the Christmas break Friday against the Islanders and they’ll do so without three players.

On Thursday afternoon the team made a trio of long-term injury announcements. First, Brandon Saad will miss the next three weeks with an ankle injury. The two other injured Blackhawks, Calvin de Haan and Brent Seabrook, will be out for the remainder of the season. de Haan will undergo surgery on the same shoulder he had repaired one the summer. Seabrook will have surgery on his shoulder and both hips over the next two months.

“[Seabrook]’s had some medical challenges he’s been dealing with for a while and we wanted to finally go get some diagnostics,” Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman told the Daily Herald earlier this week.

Seabrook, who turns 35 in April, has struggled this season having been a healthy scratch three times. He has four more seasons on a contract that carries a $6.875 million cap hit. Both players have been placed on long-term injury reserve, which will give Bowman some help with their cap situation, especially if he wants to make a desperation move to salvage the season.

Through 38 games the Blackhawks are fifth in the NHL with a minus-20 goal differential and are seven points out of a wild card spot. These injuries won’t help any hopes of a turnaround. For Bowman, time is running out to make a decision on what he wants to do with a team that’s currently trending downward.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.