In case you've missed it, there is a Blackhawk well on his way to becoming the next Chris Chelios.
Do I have your attention? I thought so.
Brent Seabrook is that Hawk, and I say he's a future captain who is becoming a stalwart of the blue line. Maybe the Chelios comparison is a bit much, but that's how much I have come to like this kid. At the ripe old age of 21 we are seeing the second-year defenseman mature before our very eyes.
The final piece for me was hearing him say seven little words: "We are sick and tired of losing." Those words get spoken every so often, but usually by a veteran like Marty Lapointe. The youngsters are more concerned (and rightfully so) with just sticking with the team and being seen and not heard. Seabrook is no ordinary young player.
He's the oldest 21 year-old I've ever been around, and I mean that in a good way. He's moved on from the normal feeling of being happy to be in the NHL to really caring about this team and his mates.
Seabrook wants nothing to do with fighting -- let's face it, he's no heavyweight -- but three times this year he has dropped the gloves either to come to the defense of a teammate or to make a statement. He had no fights last year.
I love his toughness, and off the ice he has become more vocal. After breaking his nose and having blood drip from it recently, he came on the post-game radio show and spoke passionately about the Hawks. He was quick to point out that the young players (meaning him) are feeling more comfortable stepping up and being more vocal to others, including the veterans.
Coming to the aid of teamates and also being ready to scold them when necessary... sounds like captain material to me. And again, this kid is 21! He should just be thrilled he can get into a bar on the road now. But he's already tired of losing. Is he allowed to feel this way after just a year-plus in the NHL? You're darn right he is.
He knows the fans are sick of it and Seabrook is ready to do something about it. I'm not saying he's there yet; I'm just telling you to keep an eye on number 7 because before you know it he'll be the leader of this team and might just be the guy to help bring back some of the glory.
I'm hitching my hopes to him and someday hopefully we'll look back and realize we saw him when he was a baby in this league. Once a baby, now a man, and soon a true leader.
I'll take my chances with Seebs.
Email Blackhawks pre- and post-game radio host Jesse Rogers at: firstname.lastname@example.org