"After several surgeries, countless hours of rehab, and training to get back on the ice at the level of my expectations, it will not be possible for me to continue playing hockey," Seabrook said in a statement. "This is what is best for me and my family."
Seabrook has a long-term issue with his right hip, team physician Dr. Michael Terry confirmed. Though Seabrook's official retirement is inevitable, he remains on the Blackhawks' roster by virtue of being under contract through 2023-24. However, the club placed him on long-term injured reserve Friday in order to remove his $6.875-million cap hit.
The 35-year-old played his entire 15-year career with the Blackhawks, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015. He ranks third on the franchise's all-time games played list behind the legendary Stan Mikita and current Chicago blue-liner Duncan Keith.
He was unable to play a single game in 2021 as he attempted to recover from surgery to both hips and his right shoulder. He underwent those procedures over a three-month span from December 2019 to February 2020, and couldn't return to play for the Blackhawks upon the NHL's resumption of the 2019-20 season over the summer.
Chicago general manager Stan Bowman said last month that the team was "very concerned" for Seabrook. The GM effusively praised the now-former rearguard Friday, stating the Blackhawks wouldn't have won the three aforementioned titles without him while calling him one of the best players the team has ever had.
"Brent embodied all the qualities of a true leader," Bowman added. "Serving as an alternate captain, Brent's presence was consistently felt in the locker room. He embraced the role of mentor to young players, taking them under his wing and making them feel important. His voice was a constant in the room and he brought so much more than just his on-ice skills."
Seabrook collected 103 goals and 361 assists in 1,114 regular-season games, adding 20 markers and 39 helpers across 123 playoff contests. He scored three postseason overtime winners, including the one that eliminated the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals and the one that gave the Blackhawks a 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.
Seabrook also succeeded internationally, helping Canada win gold at both the 2010 Olympics and the World Junior Championship in 2005. Chicago drafted Seabrook 14th overall in 2003.