Don’t cry for Sheldon Brookbank the odd man out for all but one game of the Blackhawks’ run through the playoffs last spring. After all he’s a Stanley Cup champion.

“The way I looked at it I was the seventh defenseman on the best team in the world” Brookbank said. “There are worse things. You could be a top-four defenseman on the worst team in the league.”

Don’t get Brookbank wrong. He would have loved to have played every game of the playoffs as Michal Rozsival did or even to have continued his regular-season platoon with Rozsival. As coach Joel Quenneville repeatedly pointed out throughout the season and the playoffs Brookbank probably deserved to be an everyday player even though he admitted “it wasn’t my best year as a player in this league.”

But on arguably the top defense in the league spots are hard to come by. Brookbank was a key contributor during the regular season and a veteran presence in the locker room and practices throughout the playoffs. And while his job likely is secure for another year — he’s got a year left on his contract at $1.3 million and he adds an enforcer element that the rest of the defensive corps does not — he knows there are several guys who would love nothing more than to leave camp as the seventh defenseman on the best team in the world.

“This is my seventh year now in the NHL and every year there’s competition” Brookbank said. “You don’t take anything for granted. You still have to earn your spot and make the team out of camp.”