On Saturday night, former Chicago Blackhawks' defenseman Brent Seabrook lost the NHL's all-time blocked shots record. Edmonton Oilers' blueliner Kris Russell needed just two blocks to pass Seabrook and did so with six of them against the Vegas Golden Knights.
When Seabrook hung up the skates earlier this year, he finished with 1,998 career blocked shots. Russell entered Saturday with 1,997 blocks and finished the night with 2,003.
While the blocked shots column isn't a sexy category on the stat sheet, it is indicative of a player's willingness to put his body on the line for his team. Up until Saturday, Seabrook had done so on more occasions than any other player in NHL history. Of course, all of those blocks came in a Blackhawks uniform.
Seabrook likely isn't losing one bit of sleep over Russell surpassing him in blocked shots. Hell, he's probably glad he doesn't have to eat pucks on a regular basis anymore. His three Stanley Cups and Olympics gold medal are the only accolades that matter at the end of the day anyway. But Blackhawks fans can take this moment to further appreciate what Seabrook gave to the city of Chicago.
The mammoth contract, lack of mobility, and multiple injuries became the main discussion points surrounding Brent Seabrook near the end of his playing days. The good memories include clutch goals in big situations and tremendous leadership qualities. But how many would-be goals or prime scoring chances did Seabrook negate by getting in front of shots? That's where my mind went when I saw him slide to second place on the NHL's all-time blocked shots leaderboard.
Fun fact: two other members of the Blackhawks' 2010s dynasty defensive core rank among the top 20 in all-time blocked shots. Duncan Keith is fifth with 1,925 (and counting). Niklas Hjalmarsson is 18th with 1,606.