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.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.