Blackhawks News & Rumors: Seabrook, Toews, Kane, Dach, More

With the NHL set to kick off 2022-23 preseason action within a matter of weeks, there’s a lot for hockey fans to look forward to. Even skeptical supporters of a rebuild, like fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, can find comfort in the fact that the sooner this season gets underway the quicker the suspected onslaught can conclude. But before the Blackhawks hit the ice in anticipation of the struggles that are sure to come, there are still some offseason storylines worth mentioning.

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This edition of Blackhawks News & Rumors highlights some of the biggest names from this era of Blackhawks hockey. Whether they’re still part of the organization, were a major part of its recent success, or never really found their fit.

Seabrook Finds Reason to Skate Again

Having not played since late 2019, with ongoing injury troubles keeping him sidelined, Brent Seabrook decided to call it a career in March 2021. However, it was fair to presume that he’d find his way back to a rink sooner than later. Even if it wasn’t in a playing capacity.

Brent Seabrook, former Chicago Blackhawk
Brent Seabrook, former Chicago Blackhawk (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

One of Chicago’s most important members during their dynasty run of the 2010s, let alone as clutch of a playoff performer as one could have been throughout that span, Seabrook’s passion for the game was always front and centre with every shift. To suggest he would be willing to simply leave that feeling behind would have been extremely short-sighted.

The 35-year-old has, indeed, found a reason to lace his skates back up again. For this next chapter, though, he will be in a player development role with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

While it’s not technically his first time behind Vancounter’s bench, having held a part-time coaching title with the Giants last season, this new position offers Seabrook a more steady presence with the club.

“I’m excited to rejoin the Giants after getting involved last season,” adds Brent Seabrook. “I look forward to sharing my experiences with the players and helping develop them as players, and as individuals within the Giants organization.”

Given the amount of success Seabrook had achieved throughout his playing days, it makes perfect sense to leverage his experience for the benefit of those looking to take the next leap in their journies.

Will the Blackhawks ever see Seabrook assist the franchise’s efforts in the same manner? Perhaps this is the first step on that very path.

Toews & Kane Rumors Are Just That

Despite the continual rumblings that both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were packed and ready to leave Chicago this offseason, both appear more than willing to begin the season with the Blackhawks.

Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane & Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

It’s easy to get caught up in the various headlines that take over any respective timeline, especially when they seem to spew out so uncontrollably, but it’s equally important to remain skeptical and ensure what’s being digested is more fact than fiction. While some predictions may hold weight, others simply don’t.

The latter appears to be the case with both Toews and Kane, as Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times has helped to confirm that neither has actually requested a trade at this time. Regardless of the reports that falsely suggested otherwise.

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With both having a no-movement clause (NMC) attached to their current term, Kane nor Toews can be traded without there being fairly transparent discussions that would suggest the respective athlete supports the transaction.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the stars are incapable of heading elsewhere at any point throughout their future. It simply debunks the storylines that have suggested they were already en route.

That said, rather than getting caught up in every empty headline that claims two of Chicago’s most accomplished legends are on the move, fans should focus on enjoying the fact that they’re still there while they are.

Dach Gets Paid to Play in Montreal

Despite once being considered the next top-line centre for the club that drafted him just a few short years ago, Kirby Dach was leveraged as trade bait by the Blackhawks at this past NHL Entry Draft when he was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens.

Kirby Dach, former Chicago Blackhawk
Kirby Dach, former Chicago Blackhawk (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Having failed to perform up to the standards that come alongside being selected third-overall, let alone showing little signs of progress, this was a logical move that fit within Kyle Davidson‘s current plan.

With a mandate to gather picks and prospects, and there seeming to be little confidence remaining in Dach’s ability on Chicago’s end, extracting value out of the restricted free agent’s (RFA) rights made a lot of sense.

Montreal, on the other hand, has now projected quite a bit of faith in the centreman. Dach has signed a four-year deal with the Canadians, with a cap hit of just over $3.3 million. Clearly, they are banking on the fact that the 21-year-old can only improve from here, after setting career lows in points-per-60 (P/60) and faceoff percentage (FO%) last season.

That said, there is a lot of upside for any organization willing to take such a calculated risk, if it means a potential star is poised to break out. Whether or not the plan pays off for the Canadiens this time around, though, is yet to be seen.

Davidson’s Plan Presses Forward

Similarly, assessing the success of Davidson’s moves has its own rightful timeline. What he’s coordinated sets in motion the reality of what will be possible for this club, moving forward. However, being at the foundation of a rebuild comes with a certain level of freedom, as there isn’t much to prove just yet.

Kyle Davidson, Chicago Blackhawks
Kyle Davidson, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

Simply stated, as much as onlookers may feel inclined to quickly proclaim whether any given move that Davidson has made is a win or a loss, it’s far too early to tell.

Will he regret letting Dach go, if the centre reaches a new tier and the potential of the picks gained doesn’t align? We’ll have to wait and see.

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For now, though, what’s abundantly clear is that Davidson is following the playbook he set into motion when he took over this role. Staying true to his word thus far, the least fans can do is offer him the opportunity to see his plan through, before gauging whether it was an effective one or not.

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