Sunday, defenseman Brent Seabrook hosted his 12th annual Blackhawks ICE Bowl event. Held in partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, Seabrook, some teammates and fans competitively bowl for charity.
All proceeds benefit the Inner-City Education (ICE) Program, a non-profit that helps low-income children gain educational and hockey opportunities otherwise unavailable to them — including scholarships, a mentor program and hockey club.
Seabrook is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder in December, his left hip in January and right hip last month. He met with the media at Sunday’s event and discussed his recovery and rehab from surgery.
“I am where I was two months ago,” Seabrook said. “Having three surgeries in five weeks isn’t ideal but I’m feeling great. We’re slow-moving right now, hoping I can start moving more and getting more things going. Dr. [Michael] Terry is pretty tough with this hip brace. He’s not letting me take it off.
“I’d like to take it off, I’d like to get on the ice, I’d like to skate. But, yeah, we’re just sort of taking it day-by-day. I’ve got a lot of great people around me, helping me out and pushing me in the right direction to get better.”
The Blackhawks were on the precipice of a playoff spot before the All-Star break but have recently slid down the standings. They're trying to remain positive, even after dealing goaltender Robin Lehner and defenseman Erik Gustafsson at the trade deadline. They picked up a big win Saturday against Joel Quenneville’s Florida Panthers — putting them six points back of the Western Conference's final wild card spot (with four teams ahead of them).
"I think the guys are playing well," Seabrook said. "I think there’s been some ups and downs on certain trips, but the guys are playing hard. They’re playing right till the end. They’re battling for every point that they can get. Things are looking good.”
Seabrook turns 35 in April and is under contract for four more seasons with a $6.875 million annual cap hit. But it’s unclear what the future holds for him and how he’ll fare after the surgeries.
This season, even though he’s on the mend, Seabrook is serving as a mentor for rookie Kirby Dach. The 19-year-old lives with Seabrook and his family, though the defenseman quipped he hasn’t seen Dach much lately due to the Blackhawks’ road-heavy schedule.
“Kirby’s living at our house, [but] I think the cleaners have been in his bedroom more than he has the last two months,” Seabrook said.
“I try to [help] as much as I can. Kirby’s a pretty smart guy. He asks questions, and we talk. I said to him a couple weeks ago it sucks I’m not able to be there and drive with him to the rink and games and be around as much as I would like.
“You know, we’ve got a great group of people on this team. There’s a great group of guys who are mentoring everybody.”