With the Chicago Blackhawks recently tossing out the (unrealistic) starting price for a team to acquire Patrick Sharp, it’s time for speculation to run rampant about where Sharp could end up, and how soon. Though Sharp’s departure from Chicago is no guarantee, it seems highly likely thanks to the cap hit his contract brings ($5.9 million) and where he is in his career, with salary cap complications also dictating the ’Hawks move at least one player (probably more) to sign the likes of Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger.
While there are no real substantial rumors at this point about a possible location for Sharp, we’ll take a look at one spot Stan Bowman and the ’Hawks have frequented when parting ways with talent and/or draft picks: Florida.
Dale Tallon was Chicago’s general manager until Bowman was promoted in 2009. Eventually, Tallon landed with the Panthers as their general manager. With Florida, Tallon has been known for his willingness to make a deal (paging Jaromir Jagr). And that is especially true when it comes to bargaining with his former team, Chicago.
Da Windy City
This is one of the reasons why Sharp-to-Florida could work. Since Bowman has been running the show in Chicago, the ’Hawks and Panthers have hooked up on six deals, making Florida Bowman’s most frequent trading partner (not far behind: Toronto at five and Calgary at four). Tallon is clearly comfortable dealing with Bowman and the ’Hawks, and the feeling is mutual on Bowman’s end.
On top of that, Tallon seems to believe his team isn’t far off from contending for the playoffs. He went out and acquired Jagr near the 2015 trade deadline, and then he resigned Jagr to a one-year deal once the season ended. If he thinks Florida is close to doing big things, a capable veteran presence like Sharp might be what he seeks.