Skip to content

On Patrick Sharp’s future in Chicago

Aug 4, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

The Blackhawks know all about being in salary cap hell.

Following their Stanley Cup win in 2010, the club was forced to trade away a number of key contributors — Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg — as there just wasn’t enough money to go around.

Now it seems a similar situation — albeit less hellish — could be unfolding. The ‘Hawks currently sit $2.2 million over the salary cap for next season and, even after they get that number down prior to the season starting in October, they’ll face additional money concerns moving forward.

Why? The ‘Hawks made history last month by making Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane the first $10 million hits in the cap era. The financial breakdown, per CapGeek:

source:

As you can see, it’s a substantial financial commitment. And Chicago has more than a few of those.

Hefty deals are already in place for Corey Crawford ($6 million annually), Brent Seabrook ($5.8), Duncan Keith ($5.5), Marian Hossa ($5.275) and, of course, Patrick Sharp, who’ll pull in $5.9 million until 2017. The problem for Chicago GM Stan Bowman, though, is what’s on the horizon — the club will have just 15 players under contract for $65 million in 2015-16, and there are some big negotiations down the road. Brandon Saad, a budding star in his own right, will need a new deal after next season; same goes for versatile center Marcus Kruger and offensive defenseman Nick Leddy — all of whom are currently 24 or younger and represent a good part of the club’s future.

So, back to Sharp.

His name first surfaced as a potential trade target prior to the July 1 free agent frenzy, and we discussed the possibility of him moving to the offensively-challenged Panthers (as part of the popular Chicago-to-Florida pipeline). Florida aside, it stands to reason a number of teams would be interested in his services — at 32, he’s coming off arguably his finest individual campaign, notching a career-best 78 points while helping Canada win gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Sharp’s also a goalscorer, and that alone makes him a prized commodity. He’s cracked 30 in each of his last three full seasons with Chicago and has been a pretty solid playoff contributor, leading the team with 10 goals en route to the ’13 Stanley Cup. Natural scorers are hard to come by; there were only 21 guys in the NHL last year to score 30 goals or more.

That, really, is why Sharp’s name came up in discussions. Of the “expendable” assets Chicago has, he’s probably more alluring than Hossa because 1) he’s three years younger, and 2) doesn’t have Hossa’s back-diving contract structure, which could be huge in terms of cap recapture penalties. And that’s going on the assumption Hossa would even be available, which he doesn’t appear to be.

While it’s true Sharp has a modified no-trade clause, it might not be enough to keep him from moving on.

But… would Chicago actually deal him?

Make no mistake, losing Sharp would hurt. He’s been with the organization for nine years (has a local radio show and everything), serves as an alternate captain and it would be remarkably difficult to acquire equal value in any sort of trade. Like we’ve seen in the past, however, the ‘Hawks may be forced to make the hard move now for an easier financial future.

As for the man himself, Sharp was on hand for the purge of four years ago and understands how things work.

“There’s going to be talk, discussion, rumors — it’s part of the business,” he said in mid-July, per the Chicago Tribune. “But I think what my agent (Rick Curran) said was pretty self-explanatory. I’ve been able to get away from hockey and kind of relax a little bit.

“If you start worrying about it and start paying attention to all the speculation and rumors, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. It’s my job to play hockey, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Latest Posts
  1. Devils’ Shero: No decision yet regarding Clowe’s future

    May 28, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryane Clowe AP

    Retirement remains a possibility, and it might be his call.

  2. Schmaltz to Schwartz? Blues sign 2012 first-rounder

    May 28, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits 2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

    Even their first names are similar (Jordan and Jaden). Fun times ahead …

  3. Politician accuses ‘separatist’ Peladeau of turning NHL off Quebec City

    May 28, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    Nordiques Rally Hockey AP

    “The fact that Mr. Peladeau is a separatist…we know very well whether it’s the owners of the team in Toronto or the owners of the Canadiens, they’re not separatists and they don’t want Quebec to separate.”

  4. DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose

    May 28, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Says that “the expectation is to win right now.”

  5. (Video) PHT Extra: Health, not history, should be Lightning’s major concern

    May 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six Getty Images

    Meanwhile, in the West, Corey Crawford has the edge in big-game experience over Frederik Andersen.

  6. Sabres name Bylsma head coach

    May 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Pens to receive third-round pick in 2016 as compensation.

  7. ’15 Draft prospect Connor wins USHL Player of the Year

    May 28, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    USA Blue v USA White - 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    After scoring 80 points in 56 games for Youngstown.

  8. Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’

    May 28, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT

    Canadiens Rangers Hockey AP

    Rangers goalie knows he can’t rely on history to defeat the Lightning.

  9. Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue

    May 28, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The former Penguins coach is still under contract to Pittsburgh.

  10. Report: Roy wants to bring Radulov to Colorado

    May 28, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    Radulov AP

    Former Preds forward, who played for Roy in junior, is currently with KHL club CSKA.

  11. Terry Murray would ‘absolutely’ take job as Hakstol’s assistant

    May 28, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has spent the past three seasons coaching the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.

  12. Report: Gagne wants to resume playing career

    May 28, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Getty Images

    Spent part of last season with the Bruins

  13. Report: Avs interested in Groulx, Farrish for assistant gig

    May 28, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

    Canada Training Sessions - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Getty Images

    The former led Canada to gold at the most recent World Junior tourney.

  14. Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery

    May 28, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom Getty Images

    He’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

Featured video

Which teams have the Game 7 edge?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1557)
  2. M. Carle (1492)
  3. K. Yandle (1348)
  4. A. Vermette (1340)
  5. N. Horton (1288)