Sources: Hawks, Seabrook close to extension

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Sources: Hawks, Seabrook close to extension

Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011
Posted 1:54 a.m. Updated 4:11 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Brent Seabrook has been a vital part of the Chicago Blackhawks success to this point. Now it appears hes set to be part of it moving forward, too.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Saturday afternoon the Blackhawks are getting close to signing Seabrook to an extension. TSN, citing sources, reported early Saturday that the Blackhawks are close to signing Seabrook to a five-year extension for around 30 million. Bowman wouldnt comment specifically on details of the deal, other to say that he figures the deal will be done soon.

WATCH: Bowman optimistic with Seabrook; trade coming?

Its not completely done yet, but were getting close, Bowman said. Weve been working on it a long time and sometimes these deals take a while to get done. (Seabrook) is a big part of our group we have here. Hes been instrumental at getting us to the point were at and hell be instrumental at keeping us at this level.

Seabrook has four goals and 29 assists in 61 games this season. He averages 24 minutes, 25 seconds of ice time per game, second-highest on the team.

The 25-year-old Seabrook, who wouldve been a restricted free agent at seasons end, is making 3.5 million this season. Seabrook has gone about his business on the ice but said the contract situation has been on his mind.

Ive tried to just put it out of my mind but it is something Ive thought about, he said following Saturdays practice. Its one of those things that Im going to be very happy when its over.

Once Seabrooks deal is finalized, it locks up another key member of the Blackhawks defense. Bowman said that was important.

Defense is the key that makes everything go for us, he said. We have a lot of skilled forwards and were depending on having mobile, puck-moving defensemen. If you look around, the teams in the league that dont have a strong defense dont do very well.

Coach Joel Quenneville said its important to have Seabrook going forward.

Hes a big part of the team, Quennville said. Hes got great leadership qualities, plays good quality minutes and gives us a physical presence. That pair (Seabrook and Duncan Keith) was really instrumental in us winning the Cup. Hes part of that mix and itd be nice for him to be here a long time.

WATCH: Blackhawks are a destination team

"Hopefully that happens," team president John McDonough said. "It's a statement that a top-tier player wants to stay in Chicago and play for the Blackhawks. We try to keep that core together and the core is expanding. As that continues, we realize Chicago and the Blackhawks have become a real good destination."

Leddy here to stay

Nick Leddys days of doing the Rockford shuffle are over this season, Stan Bowman said Saturday. For Leddy, whos recently been paired with Duncan Keith, its a chance to keep developing with the Blackhawks on a daily basis.

Now hes up here for a regular basis itll be good for him. But you have to appreciate how quickly hes absorbed quality and quantity minutes and he seems to be comfortable no matter whos on the ice, Quenneville said. His imagination and patience level with the puck is high end. Hes very poised and he can only keep getting better off these levels.
Boynton to Flyers

Nick Boynton, who the Blackhawks placed on waivers on Friday, was picked up by the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. The move gives the Blackhawks some flexibility with the cap and roster.

Boyntons last game with the Blackhawks was Feb. 7 in Calgary. Hed been a healthy scratch since, replaced by Jordan Hendry.

I think Nicks been OK this year. He did a good job for us last year, especially coming into the finals the way he did, coach Joel Quenneville said. Weve gotten a look at Hendry and I think hes coming off his best game the other night. He had some quickness in his game.

Briefly

Niklas Hjalmarsson did not practice on Saturday. Quenneville said it was a maintenance day and that the defenseman will play Sunday night against Phoenix.

Corey Crawford will get the start Sunday against the Coyotes.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you’re ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Blackhawks: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Blackhawks fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Blackhawks Pulse

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks battle Wild on CSN; UIC hosts Green Bay on CSN+

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks battle Wild on CSN; UIC hosts Green Bay on CSN+

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