Brent Seabrook will return to the Chicago Blackhawks' lineup in Game 6 as they try to even their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks.
The defenseman, who suffered a concussion during Game 3 when he was hit hard by the Canucks' Raffi Torres, passed NHL protocol testing Sunday and will play in Game 6 at the United Center.
"He's an important part of our team," coach Joel Quenneville said. ""His makeup and his leadership qualities are a big part of our team. "Even though he wasn't playing, you could feel his presence around the locker room and the guys. They competed for him in ways that was nice to see. The fact he gets to play again is going to help us out in a lot of ways. He assumes a lot of quality ice time in all situations. He gives us some size and some presence back there and has a big shot offensively, so it's nice to have him back."
The Hawks are looking to tie the series after falling into an 0-3 deficit and Seabrook's teammates are happy to have the veteran blueliner back on the ice.
"There's no doubt Brent is a big part of our team," fellow defenseman Chris Campoli said. "He plays on our shutdown pair. In my opinion, he's a legitimate No. 1 no matter what team he's on. He's a big guy, physical, moves the puck, adds offensie, has a great shot and most of all he's a character guy and a big part of our team off the ice in the room.
"He just wanted another chance to play," Campoli added. "We wanted to give it to him. We had to find a way to stay alive in the series and it's not easy playing without one of your best players. He's a competitive guy, he wants to be out there. He was open about getting another chance and so far we've been lucky enough to give it to him."