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A new alternate captain, Brent Seabrook acknowledges talk of fresh deal

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Brent Seabrook’s ascension to alternate captain isn’t a surprise. It also isn’t a shock he’s had some talks about extending his stay with the Blackhawks past this season.

On Thursday, the Hawks announced the 30-year-old defenseman will replace the traded Patrick Sharp as one of the team’s alternate captains. Picked 14th overall in the first round of the 2003 draft, Seabrook has been one of the Hawks’ steadiest players and a member of the vaunted core that’s won three Stanley Cup titles.

Seabrook, who would be a free agent after the season if he doesn’t sign a new deal, also revealed he’s had discussions with general manager Stan Bowman about a new contract but didn’t know if his new captaincy meant for sure he’d be back.

“I don’t know what it’s a sign of,” Seabrook said.

Based on Seabrook’s words about getting an ‘A’ for this season, he’d probably relish a return.

“I’m excited. I’m very honored to be part of the group up here and to wear a letter for the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Seabrook, who was meeting the media alongside captain Jonathan Toews and fellow alternate captain Duncan Keith.

Seabrook certainly has the respect of Toews.

“For many years he’s been one of those guys I’ve looked up to and learned from, especially being a great friend and a great teammate and obviously it’s great for him to be recognized with a letter on his sweater,” Toews said. “We know that won’t change the way he does things but he’s been one of those leaders that has been a huge part of our locker room and our success on the ice throughout that whole time. So it’s great to have him on board with an ‘A’ on his sweaters.”