Brent Seabrook’s name is making its way through the streets of Edmonton today.
First, it was reported that the 13-season veteran and three-time Stanley Cup champion of the Chicago Blackhawks would be a healthy scratch from Chicago’s lineup tonight. Second, Bob Stauffer mentioned the idea of a possible deal involving Andrej Sekera and Seabrook, with the Blackhawks retaining come cash.
The first thing is actual news. The second thing is talk radio filler speculation. That said, Stauffer is connected within the Oilers organization. When he mentions these types of things, sometimes they actually end up happening. For example, he mentioned the idea of Taylor Hall being dealt for a defender before it happened, he talked about Ryan Strome being a possible return in a Jordan Eberle dump last summer, and he talked about the Milan Lucic signing well before free agency in 2016.
Couple that with the fact the Oilers had interest in Seabrook back before he inked his eight-year contract extension back in September 15 and this is definitely something worth talking about. Both Sekera and Seabrook have no movement clauses on their deals. I wouldn’t expect Sekera to waive his, but after being a healthy scratch, anything is possible for Seabrook.
Brent Seabrook used to be a really good player. He was selected 13th overall by the Blackhawks and has played 13 seasons in Chicago. Him and Duncan Keith anchored the team’s blueline through all three of the team’s Stanley Cup victories and he won gold with Team Canada in Vancouver in 2010.
But, at 32 years of age, Seabrook’s best days are far behind him. Many expected this contract was going to become an albatross back when it was signed, and, well, that’s exactly what’s happened. The Hawks are on the hook for Seabrook for six more seasons after this one with him costing them $6.875 million against the cap.
Jordan Oesterle playing first pair RD in Chicago while Brent Seabrook is a healthy scratch.— Raider☠Jesse (@EdmontonRaider) January 9, 2018
The Oilers let Oesterle walk, have coveted Seabrook.
I mean, obviously a 32-year-old defenceman who’s played nearly 1,000 games in his NHL career is going to decline. I’m not taking anything away from Seabrook for his excellent career, but there’s no reason for the Oilers to be helping Chicago out of this mess they’ve created for themselves. Even with salary being retained, there really isn’t any reason the Oilers should be interested in Seabrook at this point. Add in the possibility of giving up a valuable asset in Andrej Sekera, and this makes no sense at all.
Without Sekera in the lineup for the first few months of the season, Edmonton’s blueline was in flux. Oscar Klefbom struggled in increased minutes, the top power play unit lacked a competent option at the point, and it became evident just how valuable Sekera was to the team. Seabrook, on the other hand, has seen his average time on ice decrease for the second season in a row. In the past, he logged difficult minutes against the other team’s top forwards, now he’s facing middling opposition on the team’s second pair.
The Oilers do need help on the blueline, particularly on the right side. But not in the form of an old, expensive, shutdown defender. They need an offensive defenceman who can quarterback the power play. Also, Andrej Sekera is part of the solution on this team and isn’t somebody they should be looking to move to fill other holes.
What say you, Nation? Is Seabrook a player that would help the Oilers? Is Sekera somebody that the team should be looking to move?