New Blackhawk Sheldon Brookbank brings a penchant for penalty kills
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 1, 2012 10:36PM
Sheldon Brookbank, 31, played the last four seasons with the Ducks and appeared in 80 games last season, racking up 120 hits. | Debora Robinson~Getty Images
Updated: August 3, 2012 6:25AM
New Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank sounded just like Sean O’Donnell and Steve Montador when they spoke about joining the team last summer.
Brookbank is here to bolster the penalty kill, provide some grit and drop the gloves when the moment calls for it.
‘‘Chicago seemed like they wanted me, so hopefully it would be a good fit,’’ Brookbank said Sunday after signing a two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5 million. ‘‘I just think I’m kind of a steady defenseman. You know what you’re getting out of me. Not anything really too fancy. I kind of pride myself on making a good first pass, trying to play hard and sticking up for my teammates.’’
O’Donnell and Montador made similar remarks. After that, O’Donnell was in and out of the lineup all season and wasn’t retained.
Montador, meanwhile, had an up-and-down first season with the Hawks, suffered a serious concussion and is now being dangled in the trade market despite having three years left on his contract.
Either way, the Hawks needed more defensemen.
Brookbank, 31, is younger than O’Donnell and Montador, spending the last four seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. Last season, he played in a career-high 80 games, recording 11 assists and 14 points.
He got into eight fights last season, including ones against the Hawks’ Jamal Mayers and John Scott. He also had 120 hits and 110 blocks, totals that would have been good enough for third and fifth, respectively, on the Hawks.
‘‘They have a lot of ‘D’ here,’’ Brookbank, a right-handed shot, said. ‘‘They said I would be in their five, six [defensemen] range, somewhere in there.’’
Brookbank said the Hawks told him they needed “some penalty-killing defensemen.”
‘‘It’s one of my roles on the team that I take pride in,’’ said Brookbank, who averaged nearly two short-handed minutes per game last year. ‘‘If I could help out this team in any way, it’s the penalty kill.’’