Another day, another rumor about Patrick Sharp and his eventual trade to somewhere else in the National Hockey League. Today’s rumor involves the Washington Capitals, a team in need of some veteran experience and a top-six forward to help get Washington over the playoff hump.
It’s been said countless time with each and every rumor that circulates. Patrick Sharp is a player that most teams want. He’s a top-six forward, he’s won three cups, he can score, he plays well in his own zone, he can play with different styles and much more. Sharp is a guy that could be viewed by many teams as “the piece” missing from teams that feel they are one thing away from competing for the Stanley Cup. The Washington Capitals are one of those teams.
Washington looked to be in the clear this year, having the Rangers on the ropes in the second round, but once again found themselves sent packing. Now they are in a position where they need to readjust and retool, especially with teams like the New York Islanders on the rise in the Eastern Conference. Sharp could be just the piece they are missing.
A top-six forward that could help chip in some key scoring in the playoffs was one of the things that the Capitals were without this postseason, and Sharp would bring that to the table. That’s what this isn’t the first time they are being linked to the Hawks’ winger. Back when the trade deadline was getting near, the Capitals were linked to Sharp. The deal that was being discussed included Joel Ward and a first-round pick being sent back to Chicago. Ward is a free agent this offseason, removing him from any potential deal. The first-round pick, however, is exactly what the Hawks’ are looking for.
According to a number of reports, the current asking price from the Hawks’ brass on Sharp was a first-round pick, an A-level prospect and a top-six forward on an entry level contract. Obviously that seems like the Hawks’ playing the market, hoping that they can get somebody to overpay for the aging veteran. No team ever starts the discussion with their final demands. The Hawks’ seem content with getting back a first-round pick, although they may want to get more. Teams know the Hawks’ are in a cap crunch, and that won’t help the team in negotiations. But the Hawks’ have two other guys: Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell, who they could move and save some money as well.
The Capitals are among several teams that have expressed interest in Sharp since the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. The level of the interest is unknown, but we do know that the Hawks’ aren’t very far along in talks with any teams. With Stan Bowman and the front office wanting a first-round pick as part of any package for Sharp , one would expect them to ramp up the talks as the draft gets closer. The Washington Capitals had interest before and they have it again. What happens over the next couple of days will be very telling.