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Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Phoenix Coyotes: Brent Seabrook Gets Five-Year Extension

The Blackhawks need to solidify their team as they head into a critical part of the playoff push.

They think they've got at least one part of that and want to keep it around -- defenseman Brent Seabrook was today signed to a five-year contract extension. The official team release didn't mention money terms, but other published reports had the deal in the $29-30 million range. Let's hope this doesn't cause the Blackhawks salary cap troubles in the future, as some earlier signings did, forcing them to dump many parts of last year's Stanley Cup team.

The Coyotes are one of the hot teams in the Western Conference, now in fourth place in the playoff standings with 75 points. The Blackhawks, with 70 points, are tied for ninth place in the playoff race in the West, and the bunching of teams isn't changing. The Blackhawks have won four of their last five, so maybe this is finally the team getting together for that final push into the playoffs. There's still danger of missing them entirely -- which would not be a good thing, not only on its face, but because some fans might start jumping off the bandwagon.

Tonight's game begins at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN (Chicago only).