Chicago Blackhawks: Analyzing Patrick Sharp-Stephen Johns Trade

By Brian Kasnicka

The dust has settled on the Chicago Blackhawks’ trade of Patrick Sharp, and I’m still a little puzzled, but also a lot less livid. It was no secret that Sharp had to go in what was supposed to be a cap-clearing move. The problem with the trade is that it ended up not clearing too much cap space since defenseman Trevor Daley and his $3.3 million cap hit and forward Ryan Garbutt and his $900,000 dollar cap hit (Dallas ate the majority of his salary) were part of the return.

More From Blackhawk Up – Blackhawks Pay Steep Price In Sharp Deal

The other puzzling part to this trade was the fact that Chicago sent one of its top defensive prospects, Stephen Johns, to Dallas as part of the deal. Johns, who many believed would be a fixture on the Blackhawks’ blue line next season as well as for the foreseeable future was tied for first in the AHL last season with a plus/minus rating of plus-30. Chicago Sun-Times Chicago Blackhawks beat writer Mark Lazerus was “stunned by the Stephen Johns part of this trade.” Lazerus believed that Johns would be “playing an everyday role” with the Blackhawks this season. Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill obviously had the upper hand if Bowman had to include a top defensive prospect just to rid himself of Sharp.

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  • But enough with the puzzling part of the trade. Let’s take a look at how this trade will help the Blackhawks now and in the near future. Daley brings an offensive side to his game that saw him register 16 goals and 32 assists last season, both of which were career highs. He is an excellent skater and will likely chip in on the powerplay as well as in even-strength situations.  Garbutt, or Ryan Garbage as I used to call him, which I now apologize for, is a lesser-known player. He loves to get under his opponent’s skin much like Andrew Shaw. Garbutt registered eight goals and 17 assists in 67 games this past season with the Stars. With both Garbutt and Shaw, the Blackhawks are sure to get under their opponents skin next season.

    The Blackhawks still need to shed some salary in order to re-sign restricted free agent Marcus Kruger. With the acquisition of Garbutt, the Blackhawks could throw in Andrew Shaw as a sweetener for a team willing to take on all of Bryan Bickell’s contract. It would be hard to see Shaw go, but much like Johns was to the Sharp trade, a team will be looking for a little more bang for its buck.

    Next: Three Sharp Trade Concerns

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