For the first time all season, the Blackhawks have reached 10 games over the .500 mark. By beating the Coyotes in a shootout on Sunday, the Hawks have reached their high water mark of the season. With an even bigger game tomorrow night in Minnesota, let’s hope it keeps moving in the upward direction.
On Sunday, the Hawks had a bit of a letdown from their penalty kill and it was the biggest obstacle in preventing Phoenix from getting a point. In the end, though, they got two points and played strong in all three zones. That’s all that matters anymore.
—Rather than breaking down a game that will be an afterthought by Monday morning, let’s talk about the other big news of the weekend: Brent Seabrook’s 5-year, $29 million contract extension. His average annual value comes out to $5.8. For those curious how it shakes out, his first two years he’ll make a $5 million base with a $2 million bonus and $5 million his final three years.
The thought that Seabrook was going to settle for a contract in the $4 million range is severely disillusioned.
Team Canada selects 7 defensemen every four years for its national team. Brent Seabrook was one of those seven last year. He’s also one of the best 15 defensemen in the game. He plays in all situations against the opposition’s top competition. Oh yeah, he’s also just entering his prime.
The bottom line is he got paid what he’s worth. And while those massively long-term deals to minimize cap hits were en vogue for a couple years, the players have realized they can make far more money throughout their careers by signing more contracts. Conversely, teams have realized maybe it isn’t the best thing in the world to lock up players to lifetime contracts then want them gone three years later.
A side-note: Dustin Byfuglien and Rick Dudley had little or nothing to do with Brent Seabrook’s negotiations. It’s not like the Hawks and Seabrook were negotiating for a 5-year deal worth $22 million when Byfuglien and Atlanta agreed on his extension. The fact is Seabrook was already looking for well over $5 million a year when Byfuglien signed his extension. But why let the truth get in the way of another opportunity to blame Dustin Byfuglien one more time.
–With Jordan Hendry going down tonight, Nick Boynton getting claimed by the Flyers, and the trade deadline looming, the Hawks will have a new defenseman by this time tomorrow.