The Blackhawks defense could be called many things this past season. Atrocious. Lackadaisical. Slow. Old.
In other words, fans of the Blackhawks believe that the current core of Blackhawks’ defenders are trash. But there is an old adage that you may or may not have heard and it goes like this: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Now I know what you’re saying: there’s no way anyone would want to trade for Brent Seabrook. Believe it or not, this actually may not be true. There is one man, who has deep ties to the Chicago Blackhawks, who is very much in the market for a veteran defenseman. That man’s name is Dale Tallon.
For those of you that don’t know, Tallon was the Blackhawks GM from 2005-2009. In many ways, he was the one responsible for the dynasty the Blackhawks became having drafted the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, while also signing guys such as Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. His history with the Blackhawks is both personal and extensive.
Why now bring up this potential Brent Seabrook trade partner? Well recently, thanks to some great work by the Sun-Sentinel’s Matthew DeFranks, Tallon made some revealing comments about the Florida Panthers season in regards to his back line:
“Probably inexperience cost us. We’re looking for that not to happen. It takes somebody with a little more experience, that’s been through the playoffs before, that maybe helps us in the last minute of a period or important situations in games and giving some confidence to our younger guys knowing that there’s somebody in the locker room that’s been through it before.”
While this may be hard to believe, Tallon’s quote perfectly describes Seabrook. For as bad as we all believe him to be at this time, Seabrook is still a three-time Stanley Cup champion who has repeatedly helped the Blackhawks in important moments throughout regular seasons and in deep Stanley Cup playoff runs.
The question now becomes: what kind of offer would it take to get Seabrook completely off the books. This is where the most crucial piece of the Tallon-Blackhawks history comes into play. Back in 2011, the Blackhawks were able to execute a great salary dump with another older defenseman by the name of Brian Campbell. At the time, Campbell was making $7.14 million a year and had five years left on his contract that included a full no-movement trade clause. It felt almost impossible for us to get rid of him. Sounding familiar yet? In 2011, we were able to trade Campbell with the Tallon-led Florida Panthers in exchange for winger Rotislav Olesz. Olesz had a cap hit of $3.125 million. If lightning were to strike twice, this would need to be the deal that gets it done:
W Jamie McGinn ($3.33 million cap hit)
D Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million cap hit)
69th pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (Blackhawks 3rd round selection)
One thing working against the Blackhawks favor in comparison to 2011 is that Campbell was coming off of a six-goal, 22 assist year with a +/- of +28, while Seabrook is coming off of a seven-goal, 19 assist year with a +/- of -3. This is why the Hawks need to add a top 70 draft pick to Seabrook, as a way to sweeten the deal. Also, the loss of the third would not sting as bad considering they own the Washington Capitals third round pick for this year as well.
A move like this would allow for the Blackhawks to pursue at least one of the big FAs such as John Carlson or Evander Kane. It would also allow for whoever we draft with the #8 pick, hopefully, Noah Dobson or Evan Bouchard, to immediately step into the Hawks backline and inject even more youthful energy to the veteran core we have.