After 10 seasons, 7 playoff runs, and three Stanley Cups, Patrick Sharp‘s time as a Chicago Blackhawk has come to an end.
The Blackhawks traded the marquee forward to Central Division rival Dallas Stars on Friday night, in a four-player deal.
Sharp amassed 239 goals and 509 points with the Blackhawks, since they acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers at the beginning of the 2005-06 season. However, the 2014-15 season saw Sharp recess heavily, putting up only 16 goals and 43 points in 68 games, while being a minus-8.
Though Sharp was a key part of the Blackhawks’ 2015 Stanley Cup championship run with 15 points in 20 games, the writing was on the wall since mid-March.
Sharp will carry a $5.9 million cap hit next season, as well as 2016-17, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent.
After the Blackhawks fell into a salary cap conundrum, Sharp’s contract was the first that had to be unloaded from the team. Though many thought the Blackhawks would certainly lose the trade, they gained a top-four level defenseman in Daley, who will have a shot to fill the void left by Michal Rozsival and Kimmo Timonen‘s departures this summer. Garbutt is a four-year NHL veteran, and will bring a physical side to the Blackhawks’ offense.
Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman released a short statement on the trade:
“I’d like to thank Patrick for all that he helped our franchise accomplish during his time in Chicago, especially serving an integral role in bringing us three Stanley Cup championships.”
In fact, the only surprise that Blackhawks’ fans will have about the Sharp trade, is why it took so long in the first place. However, with such a large contract, Bowman had to pick and choose a destination for #10.
Bowman swung an impressive return, but the loss of one of the Blackhawks’ top defensive prospects will certainly sting, once the knee-jerk reactions from the trade cease. Also, Bowman is not usually one to trade a player of Sharp’s stature within the division, but with Sharp’s contract considered too large to take on by most teams, his options were limited.
In a big trade such as this one, it is very rare that both teams are considered ‘winners’. However, this could be the case here. The Blackhawks move on, and suddenly have a lot more financial freedom for the year ahead, while gaining two solid NHL roster players. The Stars add a marquee forward, and one that will provide a much better complement to Jaimie Benn and Tyler Seguin than the departed Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky ever did.
Though this move came at the right time for the Blackhawks, Sharp’s legacy will live on. After a decade, Sharp leaves the Blackhawks with only eight teams with three championship rings: Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Sharp, and the Washington Capitals’ Justin Williams are the only non-Blackhawks with three championships.
Stay tuned for more reaction about the trade.
Thanks for reading! For more Blackhawks’ conversation, follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up.
More from Blackhawk Up
- Blackhawks: Three Noticeable Improvements in Comeback Win vs Blues
- Blackhawks: Key Takeaways from 3-2 win over the Blues
- Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison
- Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
- These Lineup Changes could Solve the Blackhawks’ Scoring Problem