Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Posted 1:10 PM Updated 10:30 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
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.