NHL Trade Speculation: Hawks' Brent Seabrook Rumored to Sign Extension

Mike MacDonaldCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 09:  Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks handles the puck against James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Crazy time that is the NHL trade deadline.

While most teams consider trades that would assist their chances of moving forward towards the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and beyond, some teams try to use this time to move players who could be scheduled for big pay raises during the next offseason.

For the Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions, we have all seen firsthand the trials and tribulations of a winning team being torn down, reloaded and moving forward.

Many people have wondered how the Hawks will make it back simply to this season's playoffs, much less repeat Stanley Cup fortunes.

Fans are also hoping and praying that the Hawks' management group, led by GM Stan Bowman, does the best it can to retain as much of the current roster, the core group that propelled this club to its first league championship since 1961.

While most of that "core" group have their future tied to the Hawks, there are a couple of players in need this season of new deals.

Brent Seabrook is one such player.

Seabrook, a 25-year-old defenseman who is such an important part of the Hawks, is scheduled to be a RFA on July 1st of this year. Seabrook is currently finishing up a three-year contract worth $10.5 million. Seabrook's cap hit was $3.5 million a season.

There had been many rumors and theories that Seabrook and his pending RFA status be dealt this deadline for the Blackhawks to gain even more cap space, while being able to pull in a hefty value on the trade market.

While the Hawks are one of the top teams presently near the salary cap limit, trading Seabrook might be an option.

The reality is that the Hawks have potentially close to $17 million in cap space available for next season.

Could this be enough room to re-sign Seabrook and others?

Sources, including TSN are reporting as of late Friday night the Seabrook will re-sign with the Blackhawks. His deal could be a six-year contract worth over $32.5 million.

Should this deal come to fruition, the Hawks will have a core consisting of Brian Campbell, Duncan Kieth, David Bolland, Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully, Seabrook and the Hawks can get an extension completed soon. I say the sooner, the better.

With articles appearing on NHL.com and CBSsports.com, Mike MacDonald is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the Nashville Predators and the NHL.