The Blackhawks announced Thursday that defensemen Calvin de Haan (right shoulder) and Brent Seabrook (right shoulder) will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season and have been placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). Seabrook is also scheduled to have surgery on his right hip in early January and his left hip in early February.
By placing de Haan and Seabrook on LTIR, the Blackhawks freed up $11.4 million in cap space, giving them a little more than $12.8 million to spend at the trade deadline, according to Cap Friendly. But it's unclear how GM Stan Bowman may utilize it going forward.
The Blackhawks went into the three-day holiday break sitting seven points behind the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference with a game in hand but have four teams to jump.
For de Haan, it's the second time in seven months he's had major reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder, which is a concerning development. He has two more years left on his contract after this season that carries a $4.55 million cap hit.
For Seabrook, it's the first time in his 15-year NHL career he will be sidelined by a significant injury. He has been one of the most durables athletes in the history of hockey, appearing in at least 95 percent of the team's regular season games in 13 consecutive seasons. Most of the games he's missed were due to rest at the end of the season after a playoff berth and seed were secured.
Since he entered the league in 2005-06, only three players have appeared in more games (regular season and playoffs combined) than Seabrook (1,237): Joe Thornton (1,239), Alex Ovechkin (1,250) and Patrick Marleau (1,273). But Seabrook has accumulated more minutes than all three of them by far with 27,499:55.
At age 34, Seabrook has reached a point where he felt it was best to take care of his nagging injuries rather than play through them like he has been for the past several years. His contract runs through the end of the 2023-24 campaign and has a $6.875 million cap hit, but you wonder how this could impact his future as he approaches Year 16 at age 35.
The Blackhawks also revealed Brandon Saad will be sidelined for three weeks with a right ankle injury. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 21 — retroactive to Dec. 19 — and won't return to the lineup until the calendar flips to 2020.
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