Brent Seabrook says he’s healthy again and can’t wait to get back on the ice for the Chicago Blackhawks this season after the three-time Stanley Cup champion was limited to 32 games and had three surgeries in 2019-20.
“I’m excited for training camp,” the 35-year-old defenseman told The Athletic in a story published Friday. “I’m excited for the opportunity to get back out there and show everybody what I got. I’m not done playing hockey. I get that 35 is old in the sports world, but I don’t feel old, I still feel young.”
Seabrook has not played since Dec. 15, 2019. He had shoulder surgery 12 days later, then had a procedure on his left hip in January and one on his right hip in February.
Prior to last season, Seabrook had missed 18 games in his previous 12 full NHL seasons, and had played at least 81 games eight times in his 15 seasons in the League, all with the Blackhawks. He has scored 464 points (103 goals, 316 assists) in 1,114 NHL games and 59 points (20 goals, 39 assists) in 123 Stanley Cup Playoff games, helping Chicago win championships in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Seabrook says he’s energized and looks forward to being a force again for the Blackhawks, who haven’t advanced past the first round of the playoffs since their 2015 Cup championship.
“I feel like I’m 19 years old again trying to make the team,” said Seabrook, who is signed through the 2023-24 season. “I’m skating and doing treatment and doing all these extra things here and there, just trying to get prepared and ready. Get the flexibility back, which was a battle for a while. And get the skating back, which has been great. The last 2-3 weeks I’ve felt really good on the ice. … It’s been incredible.”
Seabrook also said he has been free of the aches and pains that can result from 15 seasons in the NHL.
“I haven’t felt this good in 10 years,” he said. “Getting up out of bed, or little things like tying your shoes, just getting on the ground and playing with my kids — all that stuff has been a lot better.”
“I just sort of feel normal as everyday life goes. And I’d say over the last month, I’ve started to feel that way on the ice.”