The Chicago Blackhawks would no doubt like to move towards something of a rebuild if they could, but the reality is that a whopping 40% of the team's available cap space is locked up. That's due to the fact that forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as well as defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, all have iron clad contracts that are largely considered to be tradable.
Although it's not ideal in most of these cases fans of the organization are willing to stomach it because I believe that most of those fans would like to see players like Keith, Toews, and Kane spend their entire careers in Chicago, eventually retiring while still members of the Blackhawks organization. I'm far less certain however that you could say the same for Brent Seabrook who has clearly lost several steps over the years, and who in many ways has become something of a burden on the franchise.
Seabrook's cap hit of $6.875 million is nowhere near as costly as that of Toews or Kane, but the fact that he is greatly diminished as a player has made his deal feel like an albatross. Making matters worse is the fact that Seabrook has 4 years remaining on the deal at that same cap hit, which makes it seem very likely isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
That being said though in a recent article Chicago Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus has shed some light on how the Blackhawks could actually get out from under Seabrook's contract. I must admit I am a bit skeptical here, I don't see why anyone would willingly take on this deal, but Lazerus is an impeccable reporter when it comes to the Blackhawks so I will take his word for it here. So how does he believe the Blackhawks can do it? Lazerus believes that the Blackhawks could dump Seabrook off to Seattle in the expansion draft, a move that would give them veteran leadership in their locker room and an immediate championship pedigree as well.
A source close to Seabrook said he has no intention of waiving his NMC, but that same source didn’t rule out the idea of Seabrook going to Seattle in the expansion draft, if the Blackhawks can swing a side deal with the Kraken to make that happen.
The move would bring Seabrook much closer to his hometown which is in the province of British Columbia in Canada, and Lazerus also believes that general manager Ron Francis could feel some pressure to have "rings in the room." Like I said I do feel like this is something of a long shot, I can't see this happening without the Blackhawks being forced to give up extra assets, but it could be the only way the team has of getting out from under Seabrook's terrible contract.