Author: James O'Brien

Brent Seabrook

Report: Blackhawks sign Seabrook to big eight-year extension


The Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly signed defenseman Brent Seabrook to an eight-year extension worth approximately $55 million ($6.875 million per season), according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun’s updated terms.

Update: The Blackhawks confirmed the signing of an eight-year extension. As with most NHL teams, they didn’t share the exact cap hit, total cost or other details of the contract, so keep in mind that these numbers may serve as close estimates.

Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman originally broke the news of the extension. He provided more contract details, which are especially relevant to those who are a little concerned about Seabrook, 30, declining toward the middle of this deal.

The rugged yet offensively useful defenseman is currently in the final year of a deal that nets a $5.8 million cap hit, so he gets a solid raise and the security that comes with a lengthy extension.

One would assume that he may only have one or two short-term deals left in him once this extension runs out, especially considering his physical style.

The cap situation will probably be tight for the Blackhawks in 2016-17, but they’ve (reasonably) taken an approach where they lock up core players and then let supporting cast details work themselves out. Seabrook might not be as obvious a member of the team’s “nucleus,” yet he’s been a big part of their successes over the years.

He got rewarded for that on Saturday, at least according to Friedman.

Again, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman must really hope that the cap rises a little faster in 2016-17 and beyond:

Preds’ GM: ‘This is our year’

Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber

The Nashville Predators don’t get much (any?) hype as a Stanley Cup contender, but should they garner some?

Consider GM David Poile’s comment from fan activities on Saturday:

“There are a lot of good teams in the league this year, the good news is we’re one of those teams … this is our year,” Poile said, according to Brooks Bratten of the team website.

That’s not exactly the sort of scorching hot take that will show up on opposing team’s bulletin boards, though it’s something that we might as well examine on this sleepy Saturday.

For the sake of this exercise, let’s weigh the pros for the Preds.

Prime years

Key Nashville Predators are either entering their prime range or aren’t that far outside of them.

Shea Weber is 30 and Pekka Rinne is 32. Roman Josi is really coming into his own at 25, and Ryan Ellis is quietly carving out his own place at 24. James Neal can still impose his will at 28 and perhaps a breakthrough is coming for Craig Smith (26) and/or Colin Wilson (25).

Contract year motivation

For all of those expecting Filip Forsberg to regress, there’s the alternative: he can earn himself a big raise, even if he’ll become an RFA after next season.

(Assuming, of course, that the Predators don’t sign him to an extension.)

Beyond Forsberg, there’s also Seth Jones, a defenseman who could make a big leap in the last year of his rookie deal.

Alongside those bolder names, wild cards such as Cody Hodgson are aiming to earn their next contracts.

There for the taking?

It’s totally conceivable that, despite this mess of a summer, the Chicago Blackhawks will still be the West’s best. The Los Angeles Kings could bounce back from their own nightmares, too.

Relatively speaking, the West seems a little more approachable, at least at the top. Perhaps.


Look, Nashville has its faults. Most obviously, the Mikes (Ribeiro and Fisher) won’t scare anyone down the middle.

That said, the Predators are formidable in two major areas that people connect to contender status: defense and goaltending. They also have cap space (about $6.24 million, according to General Fanager) that they can throw around to try to add some extra oomph on offense.

It’s unclear if it’s really the Predators’ year, but looking at the situation, it’s reasonable for Poile to claim that it is.

P.S. “bromances” didn’t make the cut.

Red Wings coach gushes about Green’s ‘elite offensive skill’

Mike Green

If Mike Green fits in well, then the Detroit Red Wings found the right-handed defenseman they’ve been seeking for years.

It’s way, way too early to know for sure if that free agent acquisition will do the trick. New Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill wasn’t shy about praising Green’s offensive skills, as notes.

“He’s got elite skill,” Blashill said. “It’s one thing to be an offensive defenseman and have good offensive skill, he’s got elite offensive skill. The right shot has been talked about lots over the years. I think more importantly than the right shot is the skill set he brings. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

Green is primed to pair up with Danny DeKeyser, and that’s about where you need to put on your “take this with a grain of salt” filter for off-season storylines.

After all, Blashill calls DeKeyser elite in that same story, so maybe he throws that word around a bit loosely?

(Either that, or the Red Wings could be headed for a nice jump in 2015-16 …)

Semantics aside, Green seems like he could fit in well if the right things fall into place.

Granted, it’s a shame that the hockey world won’t get to see the best of what Detroit has to offer on the power play right out of the gate, at least if Pavel Datsyuk misses a chunk of the regular season as expected.

Note: Green made his pre-season debut for the Red Wings last night, generating a +1 rating, taking a minor penalty and wearing No. 52.