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Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton soft-pedals benching of defenseman Brent Seabrook

Seabrook isn’t getting any younger or quicker, but Colliton avoided making any big-picture declarations after sitting him.

Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch Sunday against the Kings at the United Center.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch Sunday against the Kings at the United Center.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton did his best to downplay defenseman Brent Seabrook’s status as a healthy scratch in the team’s 5-1 victory Sunday against the Kings.

It was the second night of a back-to-back set. Why not give Seabrook a rest?

Besides, the coaching staff wanted to get another glimpse of defenseman Dennis Gilbert, a 22-year-old who hadn’t played since the season opener in the Czech Republic.

Fair enough. But those sentiments masked something else: Time is catching up with Seabrook.

Seabrook, 34, has a long, decorated résumé since making his debut with the Hawks in the 2005-06 season. But he has put plenty of tread on his skates, with 1,091 regular-season games and 123 postseason games since.

Seabrook has a minus-5 rating, which was tied for the worst mark on the team entering play Sunday. He has been on the ice for several ugly goals lately, including one Thursday in which Flyers forward Kevin Hayes won a puck battle along the boards and raced in for a goal while Seabrook haplessly gave chase.

Not since 2016-17 has Seabrook posted a positive plus-minus rating. Not until 2024-25 will he be off the Hawks’ payroll, with an annual salary-cap hit of $6.875 million until then.

Seabrook isn’t getting any younger or quicker, but Colliton avoided making any big-picture declarations after sitting him.

‘‘I think he’s been fine,’’ Colliton said. ‘‘He’s working hard. He’s trying to do the right things for us. I think he’s had some really good moments, and, just like the rest of our team, there’s been times where we need more.’’

Another chance

Maybe wing Drake Caggiula can give Seabrook a pep talk about bouncing back after a benching.

One day earlier, Caggiula was a healthy scratch as the Hawks lost 4-0 to the Hurricanes. He returned to the lineup Sunday and was on the top line with captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Caggiula, who had logged a season-low 12 shifts Thursday against the Flyers, scored his third goal of the season against the Kings.

To clear a spot for Caggiula, wing Zack Smith was scratched for the fourth time in the last five games.

Wing Brendan Perlini sat out for the seventh consecutive game. He has appeared in only one game this season after scoring 12 goals in 46 games for the Hawks last season.

Special night

Hawks TV analyst Eddie Olczyk and former wing Adam Burish hosted a pregame ceremony as part of Hockey Fights Cancer night at the United Center.

Olczyk signed copies of his book, ‘‘Beating the Odds in Hockey and in Life,’’ which details his career and his battle with colon cancer. The first 10,000 fans received an Olczyk bobblehead doll.

Hawks players wore customized Hockey Fights Cancer sweaters during pregame warmups. Those sweaters will be autographed and put up for charity auction through the Hawks’ official website until noon Nov. 4.

The auction also will include the purple ties worn by Hawks coaches and broadcasters Thursday.