Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman was a guest on “The Afternoon Saloon” on ESPN Radio 1000 on Friday and stated that he is working to sign Brent Seabrook to a new deal. Seabrook, 25, is in the final year of deal at a cap hit of $3.5 million and will be a restricted free agent on July 1st.
Judging by what Bowman had to say today, the Blackhawks would like to have a new deal in place before the offseason. The two sides have been working together, but there’s nothing imminent at this point. Via ESPN Chicago:
“We are obviously pursuing a contract with Brent. We’ve been talking over the past couple months back and forth.”
“We’ve had a good dialogue. He wants to stay, and we certainly want to keep him.”
Bowman stated that talks have been positive and that re-signing Seabrook is a priority for the team, but that it could take some time:
“It’s been a positive discussion so far with his agent. These things take time. There’s other players in his boat and a lot of times you take a wait and see approach. We’re aggressively trying to get it done but it hasn’t happened yet.”
Impeding Chicago’s ability to get something done with Seabrook is the fact that they’re up against the cap. Although a new deal for Seabrook wouldn’t take effect until next season, the limitations of the salary cap are all too familiar for Bowman and the Blackhawks to just blindly toss money around. There is some relief in sight as the team has a little over $4 million (via CapGeek) in bonus overages coming off the books at season’s end.
It’s hard to imagine the 2011-12 Chicago Blackhawks taking to the ice without the services of Seabrook, especially given the apparent step backwards the club has endured this season. We’re expecting something to get done here, but it could prove to be another costly investment for Bowman and company.