Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook addresses report about Blackhawks asking him to waive no-movement clause

Brent Seabrook addresses report about Blackhawks asking him to waive no-movement clause

Two days after a report circulated that the Blackhawks have asked Brent Seabrook whether he'd be willing to waive his no-movement clause and he respectfully declined, the 33-year-old defenseman is shooting those talks down.

“I haven’t been approached by anybody,” Seabrook said after practice on Monday. “So I don’t know where the reports came from. ... I haven’t been approached or talked to about anything, so it’s news to me."

Seabrook, who’s in Year 3 of an eight-year contract that carries a $6.875 million cap hit, has a full no-movement clause that changes to a modified no-trade clause in the final two years.

With the trade deadline on Feb. 25, Seabrook declined to comment on whether or not he’d waive it before then if the right opportunity presented itself.

“I haven’t thought about it,” Seabrook said. “I guess I’ll deal with that when that day comes. But my focus right now is to try to help this team get into the playoffs. That’s what I’m thinking about.”

Seabrook is universally loved in the Blackhawks locker room. He's obviously been a key figure in franchise history, and a pillar on the back end for a decade, which has resulted in three Stanley Cups runs along the way. His teammates came to defense again on Monday.

"I don't even know if that's true, to be honest with you," Patrick Kane said. "Who knows where these rumors and sources come from. It'd be nice to have Seabs as a teammate for a long time. We love him here and I think he likes it here too. But once again, we're speaking on rumors. So probably shouldn't do that."

With it being trade deadline month, this it the time where rumors start to fly all across the league. That's just the nature of the business. The Blackhawks know it, and won't let it affect their focus.

"It could be, but every team deals with it," coach Jeremy Colliton said regarding the potential distractions. "I don't think we're special in that regard. We got a job to do. Let's go out and win hockey games, and that's the focus.

"Listen, lots of things get said at this time of year. It's a very competitive media market place. I'm not going to comment on every little thing that comes up."

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Is Dylan Sikura on the outside looking in with Blackhawks?

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USA Today

Is Dylan Sikura on the outside looking in with Blackhawks?

The Blackhawks divided practice into two groups on Thursday and Friday. One of them was filled with NHL players. The other was loaded with prospects.

Dylan Sikura found himself in the first group with the prospects, and it's hard not to read into what that could mean about his standing with the team as the coaching staff looks to finalize its 23-man roster over the next two weeks.

Once thought of as a highly-touted prospect coming out of college, Sikura put up strong numbers in the AHL last season but his offensive production hasn't translated to the NHL level.

Part of that is because he was put in favorable situations in college and Rockford, where he played first-line minutes and was the go-to guy on the top power play unit. It was difficult for him to get those same opportunities in Chicago when players like Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are viewed as the heavy lifters on offense.

When the Blackhawks traded Dominik Kahun to the Pittsburgh Penguins in June for defenseman Olli Maatta, GM Stan Bowman felt he was able to pull the trigger on that trade because he was confident that there were players in-house ready for bigger roles and that could fill Kahun's skates. Bowman singled out Sikura specifically.

“Looking at some of our young players that are getting ready to take on a bigger role, you can look at guys like Dylan Sikura,” Bowman said at the time. “He didn't have the offensive success at the NHL level but I liked the way he played when he was with us last year in Chicago. It felt like his game was real effective other than the production part. Then when he was in Rockford I really liked the way he was able to score down there. So I think he's not far from being a guy and he's got sort of a similar skill set that Dominik has.”

Bowman is right. When Sikura was on the ice at 5-on-5 last season, the Blackhawks controlled 55.4 percent of the shot attempts and 53.2 percent of the scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. When he wasn't on the ice, those numbers dropped to 47.7 and 45.5, respectively. 

But through 38 career games with the Blackhawks, Sikura is still looking for his first career NHL goal and he knows it's a results-oriented business.

“It's obviously something you think about every now and then and it's tough but I thought there was spurts last year where I was really good," Sikura said. "And even though I wasn't scoring I was still playing and put in situations playing with top guys, so I think all that is going to help me in the long run. Coach always says you end up getting rewarded for what you deserve and I think if I continue to work away from the puck and work on that side of the game then the offense will come."

Sikura survived the first wave of cuts, which consisted of six players. But the next round is expected to be bigger and should come this weekend with the IceHogs training camp beginning Sunday.

Whether Sikura is part of that remains to be seen, but with a crowded forward group already and limited spots available, he might have to wait for his chance again mid-season.

“You always got to be ready, if it's going to be here to start the season or down there, you always got to be ready to go,” Sikura said. “You saw last year, I think when you're down there sometimes you don't think you're coming up then next day you get a call, so you always got to be ready and working on your game. It's a little bit of different hockey down there, but you've got to do the little things and I think my game kind of changes down there a little, but to stick up here I've got to do the little things and hopefully it all works out."

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Blackhawks make first wave of roster cuts in 2019 training camp

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Detroit Red Wings

Blackhawks make first wave of roster cuts in 2019 training camp

After starting training camp with 55 players, the Blackhawks made their first wave of roster cuts on Friday and they weren't very surprising.

Forwards Nathan Noel, Graham Knott, Tyler Sikura, Tim Soderlund, Dylan McLaughlin, Kris Versteeg and defensemen Chad Krys, Jack Ramsey and Jake Ryczek were re-assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. Goaltender Alexis Gravel was also returned to his junior team, the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Blackhawks training camp roster now sits at 45 players: 26 forwards, 14 defensemen and five goaltenders.

The IceHogs kick off their training camp on Sunday, so expect the Blackhawks to make more roster moves before then. Saturday's preseason game against the Boston Bruins could serve as the final opportunity for some of the bubble players to make an impression before the organization makes their next round of cuts.

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