Trade Thoughts: Brent Seabrook

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It doesn’t take much searching to realize Brent Seabrook might be available in a trade. The Chicago Blackhawks are already over the salary cap for next season, and that only includes four D-men on the roster, and Seabrook’s contract expires next June.

The Hawks would like to sign him to an extension, but this is likely his final opportunity to land a lucrative long-term contract, and you could understand if he isn’t willing to take a discount to stay in Chicago, considering Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be making $13.8 million next year.

Many teams would love to acquire Seabrook. He is a proven top pairing defender. If you argue his possession numbers weren’t great last year with tough zone starts, then I think you might be ignoring the entire picture.

He knows how to win. He scores timely goals. He is physical. He is big and strong. He elevates his play in the playoffs and he’s won three Stanley Cups, an Olympic gold medal and a WJC gold medal. He plays his best in the most meaningful games and that is a winning quality.

I spoke to nine different NHL managers, coaches and scouts and every one of them said he is a top-30 defender.

The Oilers would have interest, but a source told me no actual trade talks have occurred. I was told they’d be interested if the Hawks decide to move him and have made that clear to the Blackhawks. Many teams are interested. The Bruins, Stars and Flyers would make a strong pitch for Seabrook.

Because he only has one year left on his contract, if I was the GM of a team close to acquiring him I’d ask for permission to talk with his agent about an extension before finalizing a trade. If the Hawks wouldn’t grant access, then my trade offer would be much lower. You don’t want to give up multiple top-level assets only to see Seabrook walk away in free agency.

Cost To Sign Him?

Seabrook will be 31 when his new contract kicks in, and I understand the trepidation to sign him to a seven or eight year deal. It is unlikely he will be as effective at 37 and 38 as he will be at 31-34 years of age.

The Oilers are in a decent cap situation. The only key player who might command big money in the next three seasons is Oscar KIefbom. He’s entering the final year of his contract, and I know the Oilers would like to sign him to an extension sooner than later.

Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are locked up for four, five and six years respectively at $6 mill/season. Darnell Nurse and Connor McDavid have three years before their next deal, and I think we can safely assume that McDavid will be getting a big raise for the start of the 2018/2019 season.

I’d offer Seabrook five years at $8million/season. I’d be willing to go as high as $9 million/season. I’d rather overpay him in cap hit for five years than have him on the books for $7 million/year when he is 36, 37 or 38.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why would Seabrook accept a five year deal instead of a longer term contract?

Valid question. He never would if the cap hit was the same and that is why I increased it. He could make $45 over five years instead of $49 over seven. He’d get his money sooner and he’d likely still sign another NHL contract, albeit at a much lower cap hit, but even if he signed a two-year deal worth $2 million/year he’d pocket the same amount.

I also believe it shows him the Oilers are serious about winning within the next five years. He’s seen first hand that you only have a short window to win with the same players, because eventually the salary cap becomes an issue.

Who Would you trade?

The Hawks can’t take much salary back. They would be looking for young players with good contracts, prospects and picks. The Oilers will not trade Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom or Leon Draisaitl for him. They’d want Seabrook to mentor the young D-men not replace one of them.

The biggest obstacle might be coming up with a better package than other teams. The Oilers don’t want to move those three youngsters, at least not for a 30-year-old, and they don’t have many other young players with much trade value. Brandon Davidson, Anton Slepyshev, Bodgan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira and Greg Chase would be considered the next tier of prospects within the organization.

Would Nail Yakupov and the 2016 first rounder (lottery protected) entice the Hawks? I’d make that trade. Might have to add more like a prospect, pick or Reinhart if Hawks want a more NHL-ready young D-man.

I was told the Blackhawks and Seabrook’s camp are scheduled to sit down to discuss an extension next week. The Hawks really like Seabrook and they value him on and off the ice, but as a high ranking agent told me yesterday, “This off-season has been very unpredictable. Players were traded that you wouldn’t expect and now the free agent signings have dried up. I sense teams are waiting for more trades and then we will see UFA’s signed as we get closer to camp. Teams still need to fill holes.”

Teams could be waiting to see what transpires from the talks between Seabrook and the Hawks.

Parting Shots…

  • I was told the Oilers are not amongst the top-six teams interested in Cody Franson. They kicked tires, but other teams have shown more interest. Things can change, but as the season gets closer Franson’s demands or the offers from teams might become a better match. He will get signed. Boston and Dallas could really use him.
  • I don’t comprehend why some think the OIlers need to trade Leon Draisaitl. He is their only skilled forward with size, not to mention he is the best pure passer of all their skilled players. He can pass accurately from either side of the ice. He will be a very useful asset in the future. Be patient.
  • I don’t buy the argument the Oilers would be better off not trying to trade for Seabrook, because of his age and there will be good, or better, option in next summer’s UFA crop. Who? Mark Giordano is a year older than Seabrook and will command as much money. Dustin Byfuglien is the same age and is not nearly as poised in big games. Erik Johnson is three years younger, and the only option who fits better if age is your worry. If I can acquire Seabrook and sign him to a five-year extension, I’d do it. He and Sekera will be anchors for a few years and can mentor Nurse, Klefbom and the other young D-men.

Recently by Jason Gregor:     

    • Spoils

      IF you are trading Yak the move is to put him in a position to succeed until Christmas so his value goes up…

      I mean unless some GM offers real value, but you have to assume he is undervalued now.

    • Spoils

      Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
      Hall-McDavid-Yakupov
      Korpikoski-Lander-Purcell
      Hendricks-Letestu-Klink

      Sekera-Schultz
      Klefbom-Fayne
      Nurse-Gryba
      Ference/ference

      Talbot
      Nilsson

      Maybe a team bites on Nikitin as a gamble if we keep salary. I’d do that for a pick that could be part of a bigger package trade… If not I’d start Griff in the AHL and see if Nikitin bounces back. If not you buyout Nikitin. if he does bounce back you buyout ference.

      I think you need to start the year with a new captain… really really tough to pick…Grif in 7 spot by Christmas

    • Spoils

      Would appear to me Oilers are definitely trying to get Seabrook ,with Lowetide , Stauffer and Gregor bringing up the same scenario recently . Perhaps they have inside info us others not privy to .

    • McNuge

      You keep your best players. Zetterberg and datsyuk made it happen in the west. Too much emphasis is put into well he’s a big man. If Drai lives up to his potential, you still have to choose between a second line center:
      Are you a Crosby/Thornton kinda GM or a Crosby/ Datsyuk? Preferably I’m the later,Dynamo and a Puck Hawk. Both are amazing combos, but I prefer having a generational talent, supported by a grounded serious top 30 grounded 2- way center….again personal opinion.
      If Klef or Nurse are even a topic of conversation on Seabrook hang up. If even be weary but not opposed to Grif. Seabrooks leadership and mentorship can’t be under estimated, and he gets to be a part of 2 different perennial cup contenders

    • Jason Gregor

      GREGOR I think your idea of 9M for 5 years for Seabrook is brilliant! By the way, your secret source/ high ranking agent is Gerry Johansen of The Sports Corporation who just happens to be Seabrook’s agent. my sourced also tell me that Seabrook is a wonderful person off of the ice and would be a great leader and role model for our young players!

    • Jason Gregor

      If there is indeed an opportunity to take a swing at Seabrook then I say swing for the fences! Klefbom, 2016 1st round pick, & Yakupov. Yes those two players may turn into good players one day but to move forward this franchise needs to improve NOW; not 3 years from now & keep in mind the Oilers would be competing with several other teams for his services. Make them an offer they can’t ignore The Oilers would have to “overpay” yet again to get their man but worth it to mentor Nurse & stabilize the blue line for years to come.

      Bonafide #1 or #2 NHL defensemen only become available once in a blue moon & they MUST go for it.

    • Jason Gregor

      New defence might look like this :

      Sekara -Seabrook

      Fayne- Klefbom

      Nurse- Reinhart/Schultz/Gryba

      Leaving buyout option on Ference and Nikitin if untradeable .

    • OtOil

      Such a topical article. Seabrook isn’t going to make the Oilers, or break the Oilers.

      Would be nice to read some fresh news from the specualtion pile…..

      Just my opinion.

    • Zarny

      Good analysis by Mr. Gregor. The value of a player like Seabrook is undeniable; but the long term cost has to be weighed. He’s 30 and wouldn’t play his best hockey in Edmonton. Cgy is having the same conversation about Gio right now.

      I don’t think of it as the Oilers “needing” to trade Draisaitl or any particular player. It’s simply that the Oilers need a bona fide elite D to win the Cup.

      One option is to wait for an internal solution. Maybe it’s Klefbom. Maybe it’s Nurse. Maybe it’s this year. Maybe it’s 3 years from now.

      A second option is a 30+ y/o D like Seabrook. You don’t know when they’ll drop off or by how much but it will happen. They probably won’t be playing the best hockey of their careers if/when the Oilers contend. I don’t think it makes sense for the Oilers to give up a 3rd overall prospect like Draisaitl for what would be a declining asset.

      The ideal option is to trade for an elite D just entering their prime. A player like Jones, OEL, Josi etc. I suspect, if a trade for one of those types of names is even possible, it requires a name going the other way that you don’t really “want” to trade. I’d move Yakupov, Klefbom and Eberle before Draisaitl but if Draisaitl is the guy they want I’d make that trade. The Oilers have 5 F drafted in the top 3; I’d trade one of them for an equivalent D. And I suspect most trade scenarios with names like Draisaitl included follow similar logic.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Still probably happens. Hawks want to re-sign Oduya and that’ll put them 2-3 million over the cap again. There’s that and the fact that they need to get more than just Oduya signed.

        Chicago only saved themselves about 1.5 in salary dumping Patrick on the Stars. This trade is a wash as far as salaries exchanging teams go. About the only savings the Hawks will get is because the Stars retained half of Garbutts salary.

        If anything. i think this trade confirms the Blackhawks aren’t done yet. They still need to move Bickell out of the picture. And the only way that happens is if the Hawks retain some/half of that salary.

        Peter see’s the opportunity here and he will sacrifice a Draisaitl or a Klefbom if he has to. The Oilers are immediatley better for a number of seasons that follow if he does. Atleast someone in management cares about winning this upcoming season.

        Gregor will soon get over having another situation pegged wrong. He seems to have recovered nicely since he branded the Flames “a terrible” hockey club last fall. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be his last. Do what needs to be done Peter. Hopefully Bowman isn’t to concerned about Seabrook staying in the western conference.

    • Orm Nullman

      If the Hawks can’t get him to sign an extension by the start of the season then he’s in play. Brent Seabrook knows he can command $9million dollars in the open market. Chicago might try the hometown discount but in the end the guy is a Three Time Stanley Cup winner and an Olympic Gold Medallist. He will get paid a fortune next season and its up to the Hawks on whether or not they want to commit that type of money to him or not. I’d be willing to bet that they will throw that money at Keith when his time is up for a new contract. The Brent Seabrook watch is on now, if I were the Oilers I’d be dangling next years first rounder, Jultz’s and a prospect

    • Orm Nullman

      We need long term, we can’t afford to waste anymore time with these kids. Get a number 1 now and give up ebbs or yak plus to a offensive starved team like Nashville. It’s a no brainer you gotta build from the back out and then the middle, well middle is done with the huge, mcdavidand leon. The only winger that should be untouchable is hall the kid is something special just wait till playing is fun and there winning. Jones or josi get one now.

      • Zarny

        Don’t sell the future a maybe now. Who replaces Eberle? Then you will want to trade Klefbom for a #1 RW. If as you say, you build “Back out then the middle” why would NSH trade their foundation for a winger? You make no sense.

    • Orm Nullman

      The reason to wait until next year?

      Because it’s next year. One more year of experience. More maturity etc. You’ll know much more what you have in Nurse and Klefbom and then you can decide if you need the #1 or not.

      One year makes all the difference and patience this year more than any other needs to be the name of the game.

      9 million over 5? No thanks. Means McDavid, Hall and RNH all end up 10 million plus players as Seabrook’s best years are likely behind him.

      Rotten idea.

    • Stack Pad Save

      So much for Seabrook being aquired by the oilers. The Patrick sharp to Dallas move earlier this evening all but ensures BS isn’t moving anywhere. This move takes a lot of cap pressure off the Hawks..and ensures that the dollars for Seabrooks contract this year can be met by the Hawks.slick move by Bowman. Christian Erhoff anyone ?

      • Stack Pad Save

        Not really.

        They still have only 6 D and 13 Forwards signed for next year.

        Marcus Kruger still needs a contract (RFA) and they have only 981000$ in cap space according to generalfanager. They still need to move a big contract out.

        I thought they would trade Bickell or Crawford, but I don’t think anyone in the NHL wants to take them.

        • Stack Pad Save

          In fairness I dont know exactly how close the Hawks r to the ceiling. .but it’s gotta b close, if not slightly over. And yes your right I dont c any team taking on CRAWFORDS Contract

          • Stack Pad Save

            No worries. I just happened to find that generalfanager site right after that trade occurred.

            But there are still some other teams right on the cap as well:

            Tampa (812,000)
            Detroit (835 457)
            Chicago (981,549)
            San Jose (1,030,004)

            Based on http://www.generalfanager.com

            Tampa still needs to sign 1 more forward
            Detroit still has some RFA’s to sign (albeit fringe NHL/AHL players)
            Chicago still has to sign Kruger
            San Jose seems to be set.

            I bet a lot of these teams are hoping for expansion revenues to increase the salary cap!

            *EDIT* I should add Pittsburgh, they have only 4.97 million in cap space left and still need to sign at the very least 6 forwards to count adjacent the cap.

            • Quicksilver ballet

              Expansion money goes straight into the other existing owners pockets. It is no longer considered hockey related revenue (HRR) and therefor has zero effect on the salary cap.

              There are no teams currently waiting for your unicorn and rainbow character to come riding in on a horse. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      • Stack Pad Save

        Sharp deal makes opening for Seabrook trade ! Chicago getting Daley and resigning Oduya (two for the price of one Seabrook) just might be what was required for Oilers to deal for Seabrook . Gregor’s deal looking tempting , youth and little cap hit . One step closer .

        • Jason Gregor

          The Stars are eating half of Garbutt contract, $900,000 cap hit.

          The Hawks gained two players and $1.7 million in cap space.

          Sharp is $5.9 cap hit, Daley is $3.3 and Garbutt counts at $900,000 … $5.9 minus $4.2 for Hawks.

          For them every cent counts and this does save them some, albeit not enough, but also gives them two decent complementary players.

    • BillHK

      Erhoff for 2 years or Hejda for 1 year is probably the best move before the season starts. By mid season they can evaluate if they are buyers or sellers at trade deadline.

    • shau_co

      Trade 2016 1st and J Schultz for Seabrook. Add to it if need be.

      Sekera-Fayne

      Klefbom-Seabrook

      Reinhart (or Nurse) -Gryba

      Nikitin or Ference as your 7th (buyout one of them)

      All of a sudden things look pretty decent on the backend.

    • bazmagoo

      I posted this a while ago and it was not popular, but if you compare Phanuef and Seabrook, they have nearly identical output, while playing very different competition, difficulty of minutes, and have very different teammates. I’m not saying we should get Phanuef over Seabrook or anything, just that if you don’t want Phanuef here because you think he’s a bad player, or his contract is too bad, then you should not want Seabrook here either.

        • clrsnldvc81

          Again, not saying Seabrook isn’t good or that I don’t want him on the team. Just suggesting you go do your own comparisons of the two players. I bet some of the seabrook shine comes off when you do. Or you’re a guy that just counts cup rings, which means none of Chi’s acquisitions are any good. I guess we should go get Dustin Penner cause he has 2 cup rings.