Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook 'honored' to be named Blackhawks alternate captain

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Brent Seabrook 'honored' to be named Blackhawks alternate captain

The Blackhawks have named defenseman Brent Seabrook as their new alternate captain, coach Joel Quenneville announced Thursday.

With the departure of Patrick Sharp, Seabrook will join Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith as the team's captains.

"I'm very honored to wear a letter for the Chicago Blackhawks," said Seabrook, who found out during a team meeting Wednesday night.

[MORE: Blackhawks' Patrick Kane: 'I will be absolved' of any wrongdoing]

Seabrook, 30, has served as a reserve alternate captain in the past, but now it's official.

His teammates already know the Blackhawks defenseman has been a known leader in the locker room, and the "A" on his sweater just reaffirms that.

“For many years, he’s been one of those guys that we can look up to and learn from,” Toews said. “He’s been a great friend and a great teammate. We know that won’t change the way he does things, and he’s been a huge part of our locker room and our success on the ice.”

Seabrook, who was drafted by the Blackhawks in the first round of the 2003 NHL Draft, has been a crucial part of the team's turnaround and recent success.

He was dubbed "Mr. Overtime" in 2013 after potting the game-winning, series-clinching goal versus Detroit in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals and another in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against Boston.

Before the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks spoke highly of Seabrook's underrated leadership and how important of a role he had played to get them past the first three rounds and, eventually, the fourth.

“He’s one of those guys who says the right things, does the right things, on the bench as well," Quenneville said in June before Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. "Over the course of meaningful games, big shifts, he seems to rise to the challenge. We’ve seen him come up with some clutch goals in overtime and regular season the same way.

"The bigger the games get, he responds."

[NBC SHOP: Buy a Brent Seabrook jersey] 

In all 10 seasons with the Blackhawks, Seabrook has accumulated 318 points (71 goals, 318 assists) in 763 regular-season games, and has averaged at least 20 minutes of ice time per game.

He also has 19 goals and 38 assists in 112 postseason games.

Seabrook is in the final year of a five-year, $29 million contract, and said he "had talks" with general manager Stan Bowman about a new deal, but concluded "that's about it."

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that the team expects goalie Corey Crawford to be back next season around training camp. Bowman also mentioned that Crawford might speak about his status himself during the Blackhawks Convention.

“What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back,” Bowman said in a Thursday afternoon conference call. “We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen.”

According to Bowman, Blackhawks players, including Crawford, already have their eyes set on next season.

“At this point in the summer, all the players are preparing for next season,” Bowman said. “Corey’s in that same preparation mode.”

Crawford is nursing what has been labeled an upper-body injury by the team. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was put on the shelf for the rest of the season back in late December, and he has not seen the ice since he skated in a February practice.

“Nothing has changed,” Bowman said. “We expect him to be back and ready to go in training camp.”

The Blackhawks have chosen to keep any groundbreaking news with Crawford under wraps, which the organization has done with other player injuries in the past. Bowman spoke about his vagueness in this situation.

“We’ve never gone into specifics about injuries,” Bowman said. “I realize this probably gets more attention because he’s our starting goalie and he won the Stanley Cup.”

Fans will have to take a wait-and-see approach, because it is unlikely that there will be a significant update regarding Crawford’s health before the season gets closer to its start.

Last season, Crawford only appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-9 with 782 saves before going down for the rest of the year.