Hawks doing best to avoid Olympic fever

January, 23, 2010
1/23/10
12:16
PM CT
ROGERS By JESSE ROGERS
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeBrent Seabrook
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesBrent Seabrook might have a special emotional attachment to the Vancouver Olympics, as he is from the Western Canadian city.
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- For six Blackhawks players, the oft-used phrase “taking it one day at a time” could never be truer. The moment they touched down in Vancouver for a regular season game against the Canucks, the topic of the upcoming Olympics took center stage. However, with work still to be done with the Blackhawks, the players are trying to take things as they come.

“It’s coming about fast here,” said Patrick Kane, who will play for Team USA. “It’s an experience I’m sure I’ll think of for the rest for my life. It’s definitely something I want to take advantage of, but at the same time we still have some time left here with the Blackhawks, so you want to focus on that. But it would be hard to say you’re not thinking about it. You have to think about travel for your family and yourself, and drug testing and things like that.”

There probably isn’t as an emotional attachment to these Olympics for Kane as there is for the three Team Canada Hawks players. Brent Seabrook, in particular, is already in the spotlight. Having grown up just south of the city, he has “Canadian” and “Vancouver native” next to his name every time the Winter Games are mentioned.

“I’m going to try my best and not let it be a distraction,” Seabrook said. “I’m just going to stay with the team and do my thing and let those outside distractions not worry me too much.”

He does admit that the whole upcoming experience has crossed his mind since arriving.

“Yeah a little bit,” Seabrook explained. “Nothing too crazy. It’s still a ways away, so I’m just worried about the Vancouver game right now and playing with the Blackhawks.”

Seabrook says at first, maybe not everyone wanted the games in Vancouver, but now that they are here, the buzz is as well. He knows the exposure for the city will be immense. And he likes it -- he thinks.

“I don’t know. I don’t want everybody to stay,” Seabrook joked. “I love it. It’s great. Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world and its obviously going to get more populated after this, I think.

“Now that it's here, everyone is really excited, really jacked up. You can see people running around with Team Canada stuff on. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m sure the city of Vancouver is as well.”

He says the city is looking good and he’s been told from family it looks ready.

“I’ve seen a few changes around here," Seabrook said. "I know my mom and dad have been traveling around looking at stuff and they’ve said they’ve noticed [some] change.”

As for winning gold, Seabrook and his two Team Canada and Hawks teammates agree, the pressure will be huge.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26