Most of Patrick Sharp’s popularity stems from his good looks.
Now, he’s the most handsome All-Star Game MVP there’s ever been.
This award wasn’t for his victory in a random Internet Sexiest NHL Player contest, nor did Sharp Dressed Man play after any of his accomplishments on a national stage — a goal and two assists. It just so happens his star shined brighter than any other Sunday in Raleigh.
Not bad for a guy who gets roughly the fifth-most attention on his own team.
It’s no secret Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa are the most talked-about Blackhawks. The fans voted in the first three, despite Sharp having a better season when the ‘Hawks needed it most with the departures and injuries.
Hell, Sharp wasn’t even on the damn ballot.
“I guess I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bothered by it,” Sharp told the Chicago Tribune. “But it was motivation to play well this year. The Blackhawks have a ton of big names and great players and a lot of guys that deserve to be here. I’m proud to be a Blackhawk in the All-Star Game and things worked out.”
More than anyone seemed to want to believe.
His quiet nature may be a detriment to his popularity around the NHL and in circles where his name rarely comes up as one of the top forwards in the league. Sure, his minus-10 rating won’t have anyone dishing out Hart Trophy votes any time soon.
But the kid who is tied for fifth in the NHL with 26 goals constantly seems to have to prove himself — even in his own town.
Just more than a year ago, I wrote that Sharp would be a good addition to a trade for the sought-after Atlanta Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk. At least I mentioned in the post that I believed Sharp had the potential to become a 40-goal scorer.
Looking back, if I really felt that way, why would I want to deal a potential 40-goal scorer for a guy who basically was supposed to do the same thing?
I got caught up in the name game, which happens a lot in a city of fans so desperate to make “a big splash.” My belief about Sharp has 33 games to come true, beginning Tuesday in Columbus.
If the Blackhawks can get on track and make some noise in the Western Conference playoff picture before the conclusion of the regular season, Sharp will be at the forefront of that success.
Sharp earned the recognition he deserved Sunday, despite the fact it came during an event many don’t believe to be worthwhile. That matters not for Sharp and his quite campaign to be a more recognized name because of his hockey skills, not potential modeling ability.
Sharp introduced himself to the hockey world Sunday. Hopefully everyone continues to take notice.
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