An already simmering rivalry between the Vancouver Canucks and the Blackhawks meant change for one Hawk.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook, a Vancouver-area native, said he had to move to get away from all the craziness that engulfed the city during the playoffs when the Canucks made their unsuccessful run at the Stanley Cup.
"I had to get out of there," Seabrook said. "I moved up to Kelowna and took possession of our place right before the finals started. It was good for me to get out of the city. It was pretty crazy there, lots of stuff going on. I had golf clubs in front of my front door after we lost to Vancouver and things like that. So it was good to get out of the city."
Now, it feels good to prepare for next season. Last year when the Hawks assembled for their annual convention at the Hilton Chicago, Seabrook said he was just starting to prepare for the title defense.
The lack of rest and preparation, though, didn't really hurt his production as it did others.
Seabrook's numbers didn't dip last season. In fact, most of them improved. He recorded career bests in goals (nine), assists (39) and points (48), leading Hawks defensemen in all three categories.
Still, he will take advantage of the long summer.
"It sucks having a long summer and watching another team win the Stanley Cup and stuff," Seabrook said. "But at the same time, it also gives you a chance to get ready for next season."