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.

Lucas Carlsson out to prove he belongs with Blackhawks

Lucas Carlsson out to prove he belongs with Blackhawks

DALLAS — The Blackhawks have gotten extended looks this season at two of their coveted defensemen prospects in Adam Boqvist and Dennis Gilbert, the latter of whom is better known for his defensive game than offensive prowess. 

On Sunday, it was Lucas Carlsson's turn.

With Erik Gustafsson being held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons ahead of Monday's trade deadline, the Blackhawks called up Carlsson for their four-game road trip that kicked off in Dallas. They wasted no time in throwing their 2016 fourth-round pick into action despite having no practice session or a morning skate for him to get acclimated to the group.

"Maybe it's easier for me to just get right into it, I don't know," a smiling Carlsson said following a 2-1 loss to the Stars. "It was fun, obviously. I was a bit nervous at the start, but I think I got into it pretty quickly. I just try and play my game, don't change anything. Obviously you have to adjust a little bit, everything's much faster here, so it's good."

Head coach Jeremy Colliton said before the game he wanted Carlsson to be clean with the puck, have a tight gap and be physical when he needed to. And Carlsson did exactly that.

The 22-year-old Swedish blue liner had one shot attempt, one blocked shot and three hits in 14:55 of ice time while playing on the second pairing with Connor Murphy. He wasn't too noticeable, but that's not intended to sound negative. He kept it simple, played his game and didn't make any glaring mistakes in his NHL debut.

"I thought he was good," Colliton said. "He was assertive, physical, made plays, skated the puck. He did well for himself, so [I'm] happy for him in his first game."

The one noticeable offensive play Carlsson did make came in the third period when he delivered a nifty backhand pass between his legs in the slot to Dominik Kubalik, who looked surprised it even got to him. It nearly created a prime scoring chance, but the puck got away from Kubalik.

Carlsson clearly wasn't lacking confidence, which is always a good thing as younger players tend to play timid while they try figuring out the league. He's a sound defender with some offensive upside — he led all Rockford IceHogs defensemen in goals (five), assists (21) and points (26) — and is out to prove he belongs at the NHL level.

"Of course," Carlsson said. "I still have one more year on my contract, so I want to show what I can do and hopefully play a few more games here and see what happens."

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Will Brandon Saad be traded by Blackhawks again? He hopes not

Will Brandon Saad be traded by Blackhawks again? He hopes not

DALLAS — Brandon Saad knows what it’s like to be traded. He’s been moved twice in his NHL career — once from Chicago to Columbus and then again from Columbus to Chicago. Both of those deals were made in the summer, though, and they were also unexpected.

With the NHL trade deadline on Monday at 2 p.m., Saad knows his name is out there and admitted the possibility of being dealt is on his mind.

"A little bit," Saad said following a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Sunday. "That's part of the business, right? Love it here in Chicago but it is what it is. You wait for tomorrow and there's always rumors floating, but at the end of the day, you just focus on hockey games and winning here with the Blackhawks and see what happens."

The Blackhawks aren’t necessarily shopping Saad, but they are listening to offers. The return would have to start with at least a first-round pick for the Blackhawks to even consider that possibility, and it’s unclear whether anybody has gotten close to meeting their demands.

What makes Saad an attractive trade piece is the fact he has one year left on his contract after this season at a $6 million cap hit. General managers across the NHL have been reluctant to give up first-round selections for rentals, and it’s hard to blame them. Giving up a king's ransom for pending unrestricted free agents, historically, backfires more often than not.

Jason Zucker, Blake Coleman and, most recently, Ondrej Kase were all moved and fetched first-rounders because they have term left on their contract. Chris Kreider and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, both of whom are at the top of TSN’s trade bait list, have not been traded with less than 20 hours to go until the deadline and you have to wonder how much that has to do with contending teams not being willing to meet the high price tag for a rental.

The Boston Bruins reportedly expressed interest in Saad, but that was before they acquired Kase. The Edmonton Oilers have also checked in, but would they be willing to part ways with their first-rounder? How about the Colorado Avalanche?

GM Stan Bowman's phone line is going to be busy in the coming hours as teams start to put together their final offers, but Saad is hoping he remains with the Blackhawks.

"It's just part of the business, right?" Saad said. "At the end of the day, you're a hockey player, so you're going to play hard for whoever you're with and take it as it comes. The other ones were in the summertime, so I've never dealt with it at the deadline, so that's always a new experience. But hopefully I'm here in Chicago."

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