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Blackhawks star Patrick Kane bites back at Brent Seabrook critics

Brent Seabrook has been under fire, but Patrick Kane backs him. | Mary Altaffer/AP

Blackhawks mainstay Brent Seabrook has had some rough patches this season, although coach Jeremy Colliton said he’s been playing better lately, and that brings added scrutiny to the huge extension he signed in 2015.

Seabrook, 33, is set to count $6.9 million against the salary cap annually through 2023-24 and has a no-movement clause this season and the next three.

Patrick Kane doesn’t want to hear any complaints about that and rejects the idea that Seabrook’s decline as a defenseman is part of the Hawks’ downfall.

“I think people want to get on Seabs about his contract,” Kane said after this morning’s practice. “But to us, he’s underpaid [for] what he brings in this locker room and the way he’s such a great leader, such a big part of this locker room, takes in every guy just like he’s known him his whole life.

“I mean, he’s an unbelievable teammate. Even that game when we missed him when he was sick, you lose your heart and soul of the team a little bit because he’s such a big piece.

Seabrook is third on the team in ice time at an average of 19:42 per game and leads the Hawks in blocks (104) and hits (64). He has five goals, 14 assists and a minus-12 plus/minus.

He was an essential player on the Hawks’ three Stanley Cup teams and is second in franchise history at 1,053 games played. He is one of three defensemen to score 100 career goals for Chicago.

Seabrook bristled last week when asked whether general manager Stan Bowman has approached him about waiving his no-movement clause.

“I don’t think we need to talk about that,” he said. “He hasn’t come and talked to us about any of that stuff.”