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With immediate cap future settled, Blackhawks hope to extend Brent Seabrook's expiring deal

Sep 17, 2010, 10:40 PM EST

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brentseabrookhits.jpgWhen people think of the Chicago Blackhawks defense, the first name that usually comes up is Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith. Don’t forget his hard-hitting partner in crime, though, because Brent Seabrook is a vital cog in a blueline that helped rookie goalie Antti Niemi win a Stanley Cup this summer.

Most of the Blackhawks’ cap worries are behind them now (at least once Cristobal Huet is jettisoned to Switzerland), but Seabrook’s contract will expire after the 2010-11 season. The Chicago Sun Times discussed the fact that GM Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks hope to open discussions with the bruising blueliner soon.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook is in the final year of his second contract with the Blackhawks. So it’s time for the Hawks to start looking at keeping him around.

Seabrook is considered part of the Hawks’ young core, and is definitely in line for a raise from his current $3.5 million salary.

“Now that we’ve gotten through the summer with the changes we had to make, we’re going to start to look at that,” Hawks GM Stan Bowman said Friday about Seabrook’s contract status. “You’re always trying to look ahead.

“Obviously, Brent has been a great player since we drafted him. He’s been a big part of our team coming in at a young age being able to play defense in the NHL. He’s obviously a great partner for [Duncan Keith].

The article makes a good point that if the salary cap stays at about the same level in the 11-12 season, the team can roll some of the space currently taken up by the $4 million in bonus money toward Seabrook’s new deal.

They should definitely take care of Seabrook, because he brings a lot to the table. Among Blackhawks defensemen he ranked fourth in points (30), second in time on ice per game (23:13) and second in hits (215). That’s the kind of contributor you want to keep in the fold, especially at 25-years-old.

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