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Hawks sign Sopel to 3-year extension
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff

San Jose's Torrey Mitchell, left, battles for the puck with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel in a game earlier this season. Sopel, who is out with an injury, has agreed to a three-year extension to stay with the Hawks.


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Published: 1/10/2008 11:28 AM | Updated: 1/10/2008 1:54 PM

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The Blackhawks and Brent Sopel have agreed on a three-year contract extension that will keep the veteran defenseman from becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Financial terms of the deal were being finalized. Sopel is being paid $1.5 million this season.

Sopel, 31, is presently sidelined by a broken finger and the Hawks miss his experience. Sopel is plus-10 with 10 assists in 33 games, averaging 20 minutes of ice time per night.

Also Thursday, the Blackhawks announced they traded 34-year-old Swedish defenseman Magnus Johansson to Florida for a late-round draft pick in 2009. Johansson had 4 assists in 18 games for the Hawks and was a minus-5 plus-minus rating.

The Hawks are believed to be close to re-signing center Patrick Sharp to a multi-year contract extension as well.

Sharp, who leads the Hawks with 21 goals, is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer along with Brent Seabrook, Tuomo Ruutu, James Wisniewski, Rene Bourque, Adam Burish and Dustin Byfuglien.

The Hawks also have sent winger Troy Brouwer back to Rockford.