DALLAS — Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman made it clear again. He’s looking to add a penalty-killing defenseman to the Hawks mix — and he’s not trading Brent Seabrook.
“We’re trying to sign Seabrook and we’ve been trying to sign him for a while,” Bowman said Friday before the Hawks faced the Dallas Stars. “It’s going along amicably. We haven’t gotten it done yet, but we’ve had different ideas back and forth.”
Bowman maintained that Seabrook, who is in the last year of his second contract with the Hawks, will be part of the Hawks past the Feb. 28 trade deadline.
“He’s absolutely on this team,” Bowman said. “He’s a big part of our group. None of that has changed. Brent has been a big reason we’ve gotten to where we’re at. He’s going to continue to be a big part of this.”
With forward Michael Frolik now on board, Bowman said he’s content with the Hawks up front. He will focus on adding a defenseman.
“We’re trying to find a defenseman that can be a penalty-killing type and eat up some minutes on the PK,” Bowman said. “Right now, we’re using our top guys a lot. In a perfect world, we can get a guy and come in do that.”
It hasn’t been easy finding that player, but things have picked up discussion-wise with other teams, Bowman said.
Former Hawk and current Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Brent Sopel is often mentioned. Sopel was part of the Dustin Byfuglien deal in the summer. But the Thrashers are still in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference.
Bowman made it a point to say the Hawks aren’t going to wait around for the Feb. 28 trade deadline to come around, either.
“I think a lot of teams are looking for similar kinds of players,” Bowman said. “There’s not a lot yet that are thrown out there in terms of being available. Lots of discussions. It’s picking up right now.
“Some teams are going to try and hold their guys close to the deadline. We don’t necessarily want to wait that long. If we find a guy that we’re comfortable with, we’ll make it work. But there is nothing imminent on that front.”