Brent Seabrook takes out full page ads to thank Blackhawks fans

Sports

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 18: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks holds the Stanley Cup trophy
during the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship Rally at Soldier Field on June 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO – Brent Seabrook gutted out injuries, played through pain and helped bring Chicago three Stanley Cups in a span of six years.

Two days after announcing he was stepping away from hockey, the Blackhawks defensive rock took out full page ads in the Sun-Times and Tribune to thank fans for their support along the way.

“To the city of Chicago and Blackhawks fans, Thank you.

Thank you for letting a 20-year-old kid from Western Canada call this city home for my entire 15-year National Hockey League career. Thank you for allowing me to play the game I love in front of you. Thank you for accepting my family and me as a part of your community. Thank you for all of the cheers and the energy, the Cups, the parade, the memories.

This may be goodbye for now, but Chicago will forever be my home and I will always be a Blackhawk.

To the best fans in all of sports, I say again, thank you.”

A right hip ailment rendered Seabrook unable to walk just before Christmas and didn’t let up when he tried skating again. The 35-year-old defenseman isn’t technically retiring because there are three years left on his contract, but he knows he won’t suit up in an NHL game again.

“I told my body to screw off for 15 years,” Seabrook said. “It finally turned around and said, ‘I’m not going to do it anymore.’”

Seabrook put off surgeries throughout his career because Chicago was consistently making long playoff runs and he didn’t want to miss the majority of the next season. His last NHL game was on Dec. 15, 2019. He had right shoulder surgery later that month, left hip surgery in January 2020 and right hip surgery last February.

“We have tried all available conservative treatments, and nothing has worked well enough for him to live life as an athlete,” team physician Dr. Michael Terry said. “We support his decision to prioritize his long-term physical health.”

An examination of Seabrook’s right hip showed zero cartilage left in it. Doctors advised a hip replacement at some point, and he’ll do what he can to manage the situation.

Seabrook hopes to continue an active life and looks forward to skiing and snowboarding with his wife and daughter.

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