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

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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    Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

    Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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    They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

    The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

    In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

    The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

    Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

    The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

    McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



    Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

    Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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    It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

    Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

    Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

    Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

    “Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

    Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: