It's trade deadline month and the Blackhawks have less than a five percent chance of making the playoffs despite winning four games in a row, meaning rumors will start to swirl on the direction of the team. And that includes core players.
On Saturday's Headlines during Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported that the Blackhawks have asked Brent Seabrook whether he'd be willing to waive his no-movement clause and the three-time Stanley Cup champion respectfully said no, reiterating that he enjoys being a Blackhawk and playing in Chicago.
Let's be clear: Seabrook did not nix a potential trade. He was simply asked, as he should have been, whether he'd be open to moving. It's likely Duncan Keith will be approached, as well. As legacy players who are closer to the back end of their NHL careers, they deserve to be in the loop on where things stand within the organization and what their futures are because they're the ones that control it.
After this season, Seabrook, who turns 34 on April 20, has five years left on a contract that carries a $6.875 million cap hit. His no-movement clause changes to a modified no-trade clause in the final two years. Keith, who turns 36 in July, has four years remaining on a deal that carries a $5.5 million cap hit. He has a no-movement clause for the entirety of the contract.
The trade deadline is on Feb. 25, and it's more likely the Blackhawks will be sellers rather than buyers. To what extent, that remains to be seen.