According to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, the Chicago Blackhawks are closing in on a long-term deal with ‘Hawk defenseman Brent Seabrook. This news comes on the tail end of Seabrook being named the new alternate captain of the ‘Hawks, replacing former alternate captain and new Dallas Star Patrick Sharp.
Seabrook’s current deal of five years, $29 million which was signed in 2011 will come to a close at the end of the upcoming 2015-16 season. The former ‘Hawks first-round pick will turn 31 this season, and if a long-term deal is signed, he will like end his career having been a lifelong member of the Chicago Blackhawks.
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Obviously, Seabrook can expect a raise from the $5.8 million cap hit he currently carries. If the ‘Hawks are unable to move Bryan Bickell, this raise may spell trouble. If the NHL decides not to raise the cap or only increases it slightly for the 2016-17 season, we may run into a smaller version of this offseason with Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw (among others) to re-sign. Although this comes on what turned out to be somewhat of a down year for Seabrook, we can attribute this to his constantly changing defensive partner assignments.
There are a few contracts we can look into for reference. Dougie Hamilton just signed a six-year, $34.5 million contract with the Calgary Flames in the offseason. While the two differ in age and accomplishments, they’re both big-body players with an offensive prowess that teams desire. Hamilton’s contract comes with a $5.75 million cap hit. Due to the success of not only Seabrook but also of the ‘Hawks while Seabrook has been around, he can probably expect more than that, which will justify his raise.
During the 2013 offseason, Alex Pietrangelo signed a seven-year, $45 million contract with the St. Louis Blues. While slightly smaller than both Hamilton and Seabrook, they all draw the same comparison when it comes to style and skill. Pietrangelo’s contract comes with a $6.5 million cap hit. This is somewhere around the bottom end of where I think Seabrook will end up.
Recently, Mark Giordano signed a six-year, $40.5 million contract with the Calgary Flames. While he may not play with his body as much as the above three, Giordano is the best offensive player among the bunch. This contract comes with a $6.75 million cap hit. This is where I think Seabrook has the best odds of ending up.
While they all have different circumstances, roles and instincts, these are three incredibly solid defensemen whose contracts we can compare the one Seabrook will likely get. I personally think he will end up with something along the lines of six-years, $42 million. Hopefully, Seabrook didn’t have his agent talk to Brandon Saad‘s, or the ‘Hawks may be broke going into the 2016-17 season.
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