What Do Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane Think About COACH Brent Seabrook?

The next big prospect event on the North American hockey calendar is the 2023 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. This year, the game will take place January 25 at the Langley Events Centre, home of the Vancouver Giants.

Connor Bedard is the headliner among the 40 draft-eligible players from the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. The majority of Canada’s roster at the World Juniors was already drafted (except Bedard and University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli), making this the biggest showcase of draft-eligible players in Canada.

And coaching one of the two teams (“Team White”) will be former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

It’s a pretty cool opportunity for Seabrook, who has been helping coach the Giants this season as well. He was always a leader for the Blackhawks; everyone remembers him tucking his head into the penalty box to talk to Jonathan Toews when he got frustrated in the iconic playoff series against the Red Wings in 2013.

Seabrook spent more than a dozen years as a teammate of Toews and Patrick Kane in Chicago, winning three Stanley Cups together and an Olympic gold medal with Toews in 2010. So… what do the Blackhawks’ captain and Kaner think about their former teammate and (still) friend making the move to the bench for this game — and maybe more in the future?

Kane thought Seabrook might be more of a front office guy, but sees him potentially being a good coach because of the leadership he showed in Chicago.

“[Seabrook is] great at being able to go up to guys he doesn’t know and joke around with them and talk to them,” Kane said. “That’s what he was so good about here for the longest time, welcoming guys into our locker room and getting to know them right away. He’ll be perfect for that. And he’s obviously got the resume to be respected in a situation like that too so it’ll be a great spot for him.”

“I could see him as a GM or front office type guy before coaching. But I could see him being a really good assistant coach and a head coach once he gets the experience. He was a guy I was really close with here for a long time and one of my best friends on the team. I love being around him. Happy he’s venturing into new parts of his career.”

Toews has talked about Seabrook’s leadership a lot, but noted that players don’t really think about the next step in their hockey life after playing when they’re on the ice. He does see this as a great situation for Seabrook to be a teacher as well, though.

“You don’t think about (future coaching) much when you’re playing, but I know Seabs loves the game and wants to be involved and wants to get in the mix,” Toews said. “Every time I catch up with him on the phone that’s about all we can talk about. He’ll talk my ear off; I can’t even get a word in edge wise half the time. He just wants to talk hockey and break everything down. He always has a pretty good eye for what’s going on. I can see him being really good with the young guys at an event like that and make it fun but also teach them how to be pros and how to be good teammates.”

Seabrook has a great sense of humor and kept things light-hearted when he needed to with the Blackhawks. But when the time arose to speak the words that needed to be said in the room, he did that, too.

After their long careers together, both Kane and Toews mentioned they’re still good friends with Seabrook. And they spent a lot of time with him on and off the ice. But… what advice would the two future Hall of Famers have for the top prospects who will have Seabrook as their coach? When I asked them, both initially laughed when considering the options.

“You can’t take him too serious that’s for sure,” Kane joked. “Sometimes he’s joking around and catches guys off guard a little bit. He’s kind of doesn’t have a filter, so don’t take him too seriously and enjoy learning from him out there.”

“I haven’t seen old Seabsy boy behind the bench yet, but I’m sure he’ll get the boys going and get everyone rallied and excited and feeling good,” Toews added. “He did a lot of that on the bench and in the room here, so I don’t expect much to be different there.”

written by

Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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