Brent Seabrook gutted out injuries and played through pain to win the Stanley Cup three times for the Chicago Blackhawks and take home an Olympic gold medal with Team Canada.
His physical style slowly took a toll and eventually ended his career.
“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 announced Friday that his career is over because of a right hip ailment that rendered him 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 think I could’ve made this decision a month ago,” Seabrook said. “I don’t know if it was a decision I made or my body made for me.”
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.