Blackhawks

It's official: Seabrook agrees to five-year extension

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It's official: Seabrook agrees to five-year extension

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Posted 1:10 PM Updated 10:30 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Brent Seabrook said the contract talks between his agent and the Chicago Blackhawks were on his mind this season.

Now he can set his mind at ease.

Seabrook's five-year extension with the Blackhawks became official on Sunday, as he became the latest player the team has locked up long-term. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that the deal is for 29 million - with an annual cap hit of 5.8 million with a limited no-trade clause.

Im very excited. Chicagos been my home for the last six years and I love it here, Seabrook said after the Blackhawks 4-3 shootout victory over Phoenix. Thereve been a lot of ups and downs, but I think were going to have more ups than downs in the future.

Beginning next season, according to capgeek.com, the Blackhawks will have nearly 24 million of cap space devoted to their defensemen. Theyll have 49 million devoted to 12 players. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said he took that all into account with the Seabrook deal.

We dont know what cap is, but indications itll be similar and based on those projections were comfortable with where that leaves us, he said, referring to a potential increase in the 2011-12 salary cap.

This summer wont be nearly as difficult as last year. We had three players (Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews) getting dramatic raises all at the same time for a team already at the cap, Bowman continued. This year Brents getting a raise, but he was already making a good salary. There are a few others we need to sign, but theyre not the dramatic increases like last year.

According to capgeek.com Seabrook will be paid 7 million the next two years which includes a 2 million signing bonus for each and 5 million each of the final three years. Bowman said Seabrook is just hitting his prime, and Seabrook agreed this is the time for his best to come out.

I think this year Ive tried to get more shots to the net, tried to make more plays, Seabrook said. Its one of those things when you play on the first-unit power play, those guys can put it in the net when given the opportunity. Im going to continue to work on (my offense) this summer. I could probably have 15 goals this year. Its something Id like to work on and get better at, just finishing.

The Blackhawks have a lot of money invested in players for the next few seasons, especially in their defense. With players still left to be signed, could that mean more changes this summer? Bowman said he foresees the Blackhawks keeping their defense together, but a lot happens between now and next October.

We have to see how the season ends, how the summer goes, he said. Well have some new players on our team for sure, but we certainly planned in signing Seabrook with the current group here and making sure everything would work out. Were confident it will.

Bowman said Saturday that the best in the league benefit from great blue lines. Now he has Seabrook as part of the Blackhawks corps for a while.

We knew all along we wanted to sign Brent and it took longer than we both wanted. But sometimes these things do. There were a lot of things to consider from our perspective and theirs. Were just happy to get it done.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night:
 
1. One too many penalties.

The Blackhawks flirted with danger in the first period when they handed the Lightning three straight continuous power plays, a four-minute double minor high-sticking penalty from John Hayden and a Jonathan Toews hooking call that resulted in a 5-on-3 opportunity for Tampa Bay for 43 seconds. 

The penalty kill unit that ranked fourth in the league entering the matchup, however, killed off all three of those penalties against the NHL's top-ranked power play, and did so in commanding fashion.

The Blackhawks went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in regulation, but couldn't stop the sixth one — a questionable slashing call on Nick Schmaltz —  in overtime when Brayden Point buried the winner on a 4-on-3 opportunity.

It was also interesting that Jon Cooper elected to go with four forwards (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Point and Steven Stamkos) and zero defensemen during that man advantage, putting all of his offensive weapons out on the ice. It's something more teams should do in that situation.

2. Patrick Kane gets going.

After scoring just one goal in his previous 10 games, Kane found the back of the net twice in the opening frame against Tampa Bay and stayed hot against a team he historically plays well against. And he nearly netted a hat trick in overtime but couldn't cash in on a breakaway opportunity.

Kane has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 14 career regular-season games against the Lightning, and extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and four assists over that stretch.

We wrote about how important it is for the Blackhawks' superstars to get going again with the offensive contributions mainly coming from role players as of late, and Kane getting into a groove is a perfect step in that direction.

3. How about that goaltending battle?

Corey Crawford and Andrei Vasilevskiy showed us exactly why they belong in the Vezina Trophy discussion, and as of this moment, it's hard not to include both of them as finalists. They put on a goaltending clinic, seemingly topping the other as the game went on.

The two teams combined for 71 scoring chances, and Crawford and Vasilevskiy came up big when their teams need them the most.

Crawford finished with 35 saves on 38 shots (.921 save percentage) in the loss while Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 31 (.935 save percentage), and improved to 15-2-1 on the season. 

4. Missed opportunities.

You couldn't have asked for a better start for the Blackhawks. They scored the first goal 3:49 into the game and the second on the power play at 15:54, killed off three penalties, including a 5-on-3, had 24 shot attempts (13 on goal) compared to the Lightning's 16 attempts (11 on goal) and led in even-strength scoring chances 9-6.

It was a different story the rest of the way.

The Blackhawks took their foot off the gas pedal a bit and let the Lightning back in the game by getting away from what they do best, and that's control the puck. Obviously, you expected the league's best offense to push back and it's certainly not an easy task to keep them off the scoresheet all together. 

But the Blackhawks had their chances to stay in front or retake the lead and just couldn't bury them. Tampa Bay had 50 shot attempts from the second period on while the Blackhawks had only 32, and finished with 44 scoring chances compared to Chicago's 27.

5. Richard Panik in the doghouse?

Joel Quenneville didn't go to his line blender in this one, but he did shorten some leashes. Panik, most notably, had a season-low 12:28 of ice time in the loss and had 15 shifts, which was second-fewest only to Ryan Hartman (13) on the team.

Panik had a prime chance to break a 2-2 tie in the third period but was denied by Vasilevskiy, who made a remarkable left-pad save. Instead, Panik extended his goal drought to 12 games and didn't get a shift in overtime.

He's certainly better and will get his scoring chances when playing on the top line with Toews and Brandon Saad, but the missed opportunities are magnified in tight losses. It doesn't look like a move down in the lineup is coming given the success of Alex DeBrincat, who gives the Blackhawks an offensive weapon on the third line, but perhaps it should be considered.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks visit first-place Lightning

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks visit first-place Lightning

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos.

There hasn't been a more dynamic duo in the NHL so far this season than Kucherov and Stamkos, who have combined for 68 points (27 goals, 41 assists) through 20 games, and sit first and second in the scoring race.

They've each recorded a point in every game except three — which coincidentally have been the same games — and they've lost all three of those contests. Kucherov has also scored a goal in 15 of 20 games this season. That's absurd when you consider he's scoring on a consistent basis; it's not like they're coming in spurts.

To put all that into perspective, he reached the 17-goal mark in his 36th game last year and still finished second in the league with 40 goals. He hit the 17-goal mark in 16 fewer games this season. How many can he realistically finish with? 60?

2. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Tampa Bay knows how dangerous Chicago's dynamic duo can be as well, as evidenced in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks' superstars know how to get up for a big game.

In 13 career regular-season games against the Lightning, Kane has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists). Toews has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 14 games.

They're both producing at or above a point-per-game pace, and they're going to need more of that against this powerhouse Lightning team.

3. Something's gotta give.

Tampa Bay's offensive prowess is off the charts up and down the lineup. It has four lines that can come at you at waves, and a strong, active blue line led by potential Norris Trophy finalist Viktor Hedman and Calder Trophy candidate Mikhail Sergachev.

Although Chicago allows the fourth-most shots per game (34.0), it actually hasn't been bad at preventing goals — a large reason for that is Corey Crawford. 

The Lightning rank first in goals per game (3.95) and first in power play percentage (28.0) while the Blackhawks rank sixth in goals against per game (2.65) and four in penalty kill percentage (84.9).

Who's going to crack first?