Patrick Sharp

Thank You, Patrick Sharp

On Dec. 5, 2005, a trade was consummated that didn’t make much of a dent on the NHL radar.

As Tim Panaccio wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer, “[the] Flyers and Blackhawks surprisingly swapped part of their futures last night as center Patrick Sharp was sent to Chicago for rookie right winger Matt Ellison.”

The story goes on to quote then-Flyers GM Bob Clarke on the deal.

“We felt that with all the injuries we have had that Matt would bring more versatility to our lineup,” said Bob Clarke, the Flyers’ general manager. “He can play center and wing. We always felt that Patrick was a better center. We have lots of centers, even though we have some injuries right now. We just felt that Matt was a better fit for our team, although we realize that we gave up a good young player.”

Buried by Ken Hitchcock, Sharp was unceremoniously dumped by the center-heavy Flyers in an effort to bring in a wing that, in the eyes of the Philly media and front office, had a chance to make a more immediate impact.

Ellison would go on to play seven more games in his NHL career.

Sharp would lead the resurrection of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sharp COL

And I do mean it when I use the word “lead.” Sharp joined a 2005-06 Blackhawks roster that was highlighted by the Arnason-Bell-Calder line, and featured talented players including Rene Bourque and Radim Vrbata.

That roster also included a 31-year-old Martin Lapointe, a 32-year-old Matthew Barnaby and saw four goaltenders see action in the Indian Head. (Note: two of those goaltenders were Craig Anderson and Corey Crawford, both of whom are still in the NHL today.)

Three players on that 2005-06 Hawks team surpassed the 40-point plateau. That’s 40 points… not goals or assists. Points. In a full, 82-game NHL season. Calder’s 59 points led the team, as did his 26 goals. Only two Blackhawks players (Calder and Bell) reached the 20-goal benchmark that season as well.

Sharp, then just 23, scored nine goals and added 14 assists in 50 games to begin his Hawks career. And lots of people wondered who the kid was wearing Tony Amonte’s number.

Chicago owned the third overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, and used it on a center. Sharp was supposedly expendable because Philadelphia had too many centers, so the refrain must have felt all too familiar in his second NHL city. But this kid, was headed back to North Dakota for at least one more season, so Sharp wouldn’t have to compete for ice time with Jonathan Toews quite yet.

The other big news in the summer of 2006 was Hawks GM Dale Tallon somehow getting a decent free agent to consider Chicago. Marty Havlat joined the team and helped elevate the offense with Sharp. They scored 25 and 20 goals, respectively, in a 2006-07 season that saw Trent Yawney get the axe and Hall of Famer Denis Savard called upon to coach the team he once led.

But the Hawks were still bottom dwellers, and as such would make the first overall pick in the NHL Draft for the first time in team history during the summer of 2007.

That pick, a curly haired kid from Buffalo who also happened to be named Patrick, would come straight to Chicago and bring the previous summer’s top pick with him.

Kane and Toews joined Sharp for the 2007-08 season, and the renaissance began. Sharp led the team that year with 36 goals and they somehow, miraculously, won 40 games.

More wheeling and dealing during that season added names like Ladd and Eager, and other homegrown youngsters like a 22-year-old Brent Seabrook and 24-year-old Duncan Keith were starting to come into their own.

Two years after 59 points led the team, Kane (72) and Sharp (62) led a suddenly interesting Blackhawks team. Four players reached the 20-goal plateau that season, and eight – including three defensemen – had at least 30 points.

The 2008-09 season brought another change behind the bench, as Savard gave way to Joel Quenneville. Sharp was limited to 61 games but still scored 26 goals and the Blackhawks did the unthinkable: they qualified for the playoffs.

And not only did they get into the postseason party, but the Hawks ran all the way to the Western Conference Final – where they ran into a powerhouse defending champion from Detroit which had a superstar named Marian Hossa. The Wings were – as always – too much for the baby-faced Blackhawks, but the first playoff run in a decade put a no-longer-vacant United Center on display.

patrick sharp

Of course the following season was one for the history books, and the following five seasons have been historic as the Blackhawks have become an in-progress dynasty.

And one of the few constants, from the blowout losses in front of 5,000 fans to the three Stanley Cup parades, has been Sharp.

Unfortunately, the NHL’s salary cap has not risen as quickly as the talent in the Blackhawks organization, and Sharp will be the highest profile cap casualty to date.

Sharp finished the 2014-15 season with 511 points as a member of the Blackhawks, which currently ranks 15th in the history of the franchise. His 239 regular season goals rank 11th, only four behind Pit Martin to qualify for the organization’s all-time top ten. Sharp’s 38 game-winning goals are eighth in team history and his 16 short-handed goals rank sixth in the history of the Chicago Blackhawks.

When he arrived, postseason production from any Hawks player was only a dream. But with Sharp in the core, this team has surpassed any of our wildest hopes for the franchise.

Sharpie will leave tied with Doug Wilson for seventh in team history with 80 postseason points. His 42 playoff goals are sixth in team history, and his five postseason game-winning goals in the Indian head are as many as Bobby or Dennis Hull, Jim Pappin and Darryl Sutter produced here.

He won three Stanley Cups here, and was named an All-Star Game MVP. He also won a gold medal for Canada.

The Blackhawks – and their fans – have failed when sending away iconic players in the history of the franchise like Steve Larmer, Doug Wilson and Jeremy Roenick. In 2010, many of the players who departed were still young and developing into the NHL stars some of them have become today. And after 2013, the exodus was much smaller.

Now, we have an opportunity to act appropriately as one of the best leaves us.

In the future, fans will ask “who is this Amonte guy wearing Sharpie’s number?” And, someday, someone else will probably receive the number. But what we cannot forget is that Patrick Sharp is one of the finest to ever represent the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sharp Cup 15.1


109 thoughts on “Thank You, Patrick Sharp

  1. Outstanding write up and retrospective on Sharp’s Hawks career. Sobering to recall where the team was when he started. Saying we have come a long long is a gross understatement.

  2. Outstanding, Tab. Patrick Sharp will forever be one of my favorite Blackhawks. I always hear players talk in interviews about the leadership in the locker room, and they mention Patrick Sharp by name….and yes, as much if not even more, after all of the innuendo and rumor this season. All I’ve ever seen of the man is his effort on the ice, his willingness to battle. Of course, each person will have his or her certain memories or feelings about each and every player. For me, I will be deeply saddened if Patrick Sharp leaves this organization. I wish like hell that he could stay. Perhaps he can’t. However, he is indeed one of the “core group” of players that have made this organization what it is in terms of winning, and in building and galvanizing a fan base. He deserves the kind of great respect you have just given him. Thank you.

  3. Tab, good review piece. Your detailed piece on the trade that sent Sharp here from Philly is one of the best pieces ever on this site.

    I am glad you stated this: “Patrick Sharp is one of the finest to ever represent the Chicago Blackhawks.” I firmly believe the core 7 needed each other to win. They needed to know someone else was there to have their back. 2009-2010 was magical, but the playoff run in 08-09 was special for the fans and necessary for the team. The entire group played as a team and that helped the team grow for 09-10. Sharp had a great run and he was such a dynamic player for the Hawks…played multiple positions, played on both special teams, would help drive possession.

    Things have changed, sharp’s role is different and the team has evolved. It is probably time to start the change necessary at the top to keep the team fresh. Sharp looks like the first to go because of financials and his recent play which is probably different because of a new role on the team, potential personal issues rooted in fact or speculation, and overall age. A change of scenery, may be good for him too, but don’t let that diminish his accomplishments as a Blackhawk. Thanks 10!

  4. Sharpie will be a solid contributor on another team next year. He can easily play on almost any top-6 in the league. Sorry to see him go, but certainly understand the economics of the game today.

    Thanks for the memories Patrick!

  5. A great article for a great player. You mention Amonte wearing #10. Dennis Hull had a much longer history with the Blackhawks but never won a cup – let alone three of them. No doubt Sharpie will be missed. Certainly his contribution on the ice fell off this past season but that should not take away from his legacy as a Hawk. Based on comments from Kaner, I would also say that Sharp has been very helpful in contributing to the maturing of #88. Sharp’s loss will be one of the unfortunate casualties of the hard cap system. Ironic that Sharp and Kane seemed to be very close and yet the latter’s new contract is a major reason #10 needs to be moved. Hopefully someday down the road the organization can pay a deserving tribute to Sharp. He deserves that. All the best wherever you go, Sharpie!

  6. Great piece. Sharp has been a pillar of professionalism, work, and strength that transformed this franchise. He deserves better but the hard reality sucks in today’s NHL.

  7. Great “story” Tab. Sharp really plays hard, skates hard and has a complete skill set. Many where quick to kick Sharp but his production on ice is amazing and brings a small amount of that Philly Grit. He will be missed, seems his contract “pay day” is just too large for Hawks to keep.

    I believe Hawks should go “youth” anyway, big time, even if Q is uncomfortable. I think TNT was a MANDATE from the top office not behind the bench.

    Hawks are well positioned with a little help on D to get back to a CUP RUN.

    Tab remembering is important hence my joy at hearing Eric Nesterenko name and my personal in my day Bobby Schmautz and Bill White! oh yeah Bobby Schmautz! When fights where ummmmm fights! Those “inbetween” guys who gave everything everynight.

  8. Way to make me cry on a Saturday morning. Now I have something to show people when they ask why I get so defensive about Sharpie. You summed it all up for me! And much better than I could articulate. Big hole to fill. Cheers, Sharpie.

  9. amazing overview. I know I shouldn’t get emotional cuz it’s just a game, right? But Sharpie brought so much to Chicago, gave so much of himself to the team and did so much for the community. His on ice presence and warm friendly smile outside the UC will be missed. Best of luck Sharp Shooter, wherever you land – may you find success and happiness! We will miss you here in ChiTown ????????

  10. Fantastic tribute to a great player. It is a shame this has to happen. There should be an exemption to the cap for 2-3 guys called faces of the franchise exemption.

    Good luck Sharpie and thanks for yhe memories. We’ll see ya later when you are brought back home to be an ambassador or a member of the broadcast team.

  11. Thank you sharpie we will miss you in a hawks sweater You are welcome here in Chicago you will always be a Blackhawk. Thanks for getting us 3 cups and I hope we can see you back here again to win a fifth Cup lol. Good luck next year Sharp #GoHawks

  12. I’m a Hawks Fan since that season Sharp came in so basically all my Hawks Life has been with Sharp on the roster. Lots of great memories; has always been a great leader on a young and maturing team. It wouldn’t be 3 cups in 6 without him…Thank you Patrick

  13. Pound for pound, the toughest guy on the Hawks. Sharpie could fight with the best of the middle weights, in the day. He also would win every fitness test in the pre-season camp. The guy set the bar high for Kane and Toews and everyone else.

    Sharpie will be missed, but NEVER forgotten!!

  14. Good luck Sharpie! One of the core guys and a true sniper. He always played with an edge. The Hawks will miss him. Nice walk down memory lane Tab.

  15. thank you for your commitment my wife and all girlfriends will miss you what an awesome ride

  16. A well written article about one of my all time favorite Hawks. A lot of what he does goes unnoticed by the average fan, even when he doesn’t put points on the board he is a big part of every game. The Hawks will miss him.

  17. Have to think he’s going to a contender in the East. Tampa, Montreal, NYI or NYR, depending on their cap space. Or to Tallon.

  18. I think I agree with Reg. His toughness was underrated by many. Great player, great team player, classy guy. I like how you think, Tommy. Back for number 5!

  19. As much as all of the players are understanding that this is the harsh reality of today’s NHL, I still believe that it will be yet another scar on the hearts of many of the Blachawk players from this 2014 – 2015 season. The loss of Cliff Rief weighed heavily on the team for half of the season and now one of their stalwart players is facing extracation due only to his receiving his “payday” in 2012.
    In today’s game success comes with a price. Unfortunately it looks as though #10 Patrick Sharp is that price. Sharpy will hold no ill will towards anyone for this. I believe he will only wish that the Hawks get a great return coming back, so that the team will be able to carry on in his absence only hoping he may someday return to this great organization that we know he truly loves, as we all do him.
    Good luck Patrick. We will all be following you wherever you may end up and will be wishing you the best for you, your family and your career moving forward.

    Great heartfelt piece of writing once again Tab!

  20. Another great article Tab. Sharpie was a huge part of the resurrection for sure.

    You made a lot of great points about his leadership, and I would like to mention one more. I’m pretty sure that in the 2013 Cup Run he came back from being injured in second half of the regular season and led all Hawks forwards in goals in the post-season as they took out the Wild, Wings, Kings, and finally Bruins en route to hoisting Lord Stanley’s silver.

    He is the only member of the team that I’ve met in person and he is a class guy, super fan friendly. It was after the 2010 Cup Run and I told him that I saw him score a game winner late in the season. He remembered exactly what game I was talking about (vs. Kings), and we talked about it for a while. Great guy.

    We couldn’t have done it without you Sharpie. You will be missed!

  21. Have to agree with Booman…a team should be able to have one “key” player whose salary does not go against the cap, but is exempt. If all teams had one then all is equal and it would make perfectly good sense. Stated many times that I’m not a fan of the cap. Some argue its needed to ensure equality and an equal shot for all, but its a pretty easy argument in the other direction and just as valid.

  22. Touching tribute from the same site that totally sandbagged him last year by reporting unconfirmed rumors that he’s a shit teammate who screws around on his wife.

  23. I wonder, and hope, that we will be saying something similar to Starlin Castro, a solid player who started with some awful teams, but a guy who can be remembered as being there at the start of the renaissance. He deserves the same kind of team success.

  24. That was a hard one to read, Tab. I wonder where he’ll end up? Some say Montreal. Some say Pittsburgh. I hope it’s not in the Western Conference. If I have to see him playing the Hawks and wearing another sweater, I’d rather it be only once a year. Wherever it is, I wish him the best of health and success.

  25. BTW we’re acting like it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s gone. Maybe not…OK, just had to say it out loud.

  26. Major tears…so sad to see him go! He wasn’t just a pretty face, & this article lays that to rest. Best of luck Sharpie…once a Hawk, always a Hawk!

  27. I have watched all Hawks’ games since 2010 with a “Pit Martin” autographed hockey stick. I have brought Martin’s stick out of his safe place every year during the playoffs so the team participates with Pit Martin’s spirit, which was enormous during the decade he was a proud Hawk. If Sharp is indeed leaving, I’m certain it brought a tear or two to Pit because Sharp is his kind of player. But life moves on and we have to cherish all the positives we got from Sharp this past decade.

  28. I have been dreading Patrick Sharp’s trade for weeks. I hope that it does not come to pass; yet, I know that it is inevitable based upon the sheer weight and volume of all of the rumors. Can’t they trade other players, or let other players go? I can’t quite comprehend what the team will be like without him. I have enjoyed watching him play and achieve many career milestones along the way. He, along with notable others, brought many exciting Chicago Blackhawks moments into my home, many miles away from my origins. If Patrick is, in fact, traded, I hope that he can continue to compete and excel, and make his family proud, for years.

    Thank you for providing the fans with so much excitement over the years, and best of luck if/when this occurs.

  29. Sharp was a key cog in this Blackhawks rebirth and for that I will truely be greatful. 2010 specifically he stepped his game to a high level. I wish him continued success, however i will not be shedding tears for Sharpie. I cant help but think about a guy who didnt always play defense, played huge powerplay minutes and played with future HOF players and had his production slip significantly over the last 100 plus games. At the end he was a HUGE distraction off ice. Its time for Sharp and Bicks to lace em up else where.

    @ Anders,
    Wrong f’ing site, Tab has been more then fair to Sharpie. Take that nonsense else!

  30. @ Southsidehawkman

    I would say that perhaps the off-ice distractions that you speak of helped galvanize the locker room, even more than they already were. If you say that HE was the reason for the distractions then you imply that you know for a fact that he was a point of discontent with the players group. I remember the distractions being due to news media and trollers who seemed to have the overall picture wrong. In addition, if his production was down, so be it. It doesn’t call for snarky comments to try and prove some beef that you have.
    I don’t think he would have been continually mentioned, by the players themselves, as a main leader of the team, much less the lineup, if he was such a distraction. I don’t think he would be riding in the parade, with THE CUP, and with Keith (yes, one of the people he supposedly so terribly harmed with his presence on the team, due to troll reports), if he was such a distraction.
    You probably think that I’m Mr. Golly Gum Drops about the thing, but it seems to me that Tab wrote this piece to show how one should pay respect to someone who has given so much to the organization. Although you’re entitled to your opinion, as am I, I think you went against what Tab intended with what you wrote.
    With that said, in my opinion, your post seems like a couple of sentences written to set up your last three sentences which were a hack job on the player. In that respect, your post is as bad as Anders’ post, and I’ll quote your words;
    “Wrong f’ing site ……. take that nonsense else(where)!”

  31. Best of wishes to the Sharp Shooter where ever he ends up. Along with 19 & 88, he was the face of the franchise over the years and did a very good job connecting with the fans; from the Lotto promos, to the Olympics well wishes, to the One Goal welcome for the young blind girl – he did the Indian Head proud.

    But it is time to part ways – Tab, very nice job on the article. Stick tap all around.

  32. Tab, since I can’t remove my post myself, would you please remove my post to SSHM above? Even though I think he’s being a total jerk, on second thought I don’t think that this particular post of yours, which should be honoring Patrick Sharp, should have back and forth bickering in it. Thank You.

  33. This is really, really weird, and boarderline unprofessional, to write and post while he’s still a member of the team.

    He hasn’t been traded yet. Why are you writing and posting this already?

  34. Also kudos to Tab, and am looking forward to a great video board tribute next year. So thanks Patrick and best of luck.

  35. @Chris. I have to disagree with your statement that Tab, by writing this blog post, is somehow “borderline unprofessional.” He certainly doesn’t need me to step up in his defense, but I will say this.
    The focus of the post is an historical recap of what Patrick Sharp has done for this team and what he means and has meant to this team. It is no secret to anyone who follows the Hawks closely, that Sharp’s name has been in the trade rumor mill for a long time. Writing about professional sports involves so many things, and among them is speculation. And that does not mean guess work and rumor mongering, but on occasion it does certainly mean speculating based on leads from sources and based on fact. The fact is, Sharps’s name has been on the trading block and many have written about it. The fact is, we are in cap trouble this off season and the hard numbers don’t lie. Sharp’s salary and his age make him a prime candidate to be moved to open up some space. Yes, it sucks to think of him in the past tense before he’s even out the door. And on that point I’m sure we both can agree. Perhaps we are all a bit premature in wishing him well before the fact. But it’s a very plausible and possible reality, based on the insights from many who are much more qualified to speak about this than me. And if he doesn’t go, and the team somehow finds a way to keep him, I’ll send you my address and you can come over for a glass of champagne.

  36. Where has Mr. Rufus gone? Seems to post obsessively when all looks grim (after both Game 3s WCFinals & SCFinal). How about a night honoring #10 trifecta (D Hull, Amonte & Sharp) after Sharp retires? How many career goals b/w the three of them (has to be close to 800)?

  37. Thanks for the look back. A farewell article with a positive tone, and not a good riddance article with all kinds of venom. Like I said on fb the only thing I miss from 2005 are cheap tickets.
    Will be difficult to watch him wear a different sweater. I hope he helps a team somewhere in the East. ;)

  38. ……a class act…..he gave us his ten best years as a Blackhawk…..will definitely be a Hall of Famer…..thanks for the memories…

  39. #10 has been good for the Hawks, Dennis Hull Tony Amonte and Sharpe combine for 807 Hawk goals, not bad maybe we can give Panarin #10

  40. As much as all of the players are understanding that this is the harsh reality of today’s NHL, I still believe that it will be yet another scar on the hearts of many of the Blachawk players from this 2014 – 2015 season. The loss of Cliff Rief weighed heavily on the team for half of the season and now one of their stalwart players is facing extracation due only to his receiving his “payday” in 2012.
    In today’s game success comes with a price. Unfortunately it looks as though #10 Patrick Sharp is that price. Sharpy will hold no ill will towards anyone for this. I believe he will only wish that the Hawks get a great return coming back, so that the team will be able to carry on in his absence only hoping he may someday return to this great organization that we know he truly loves, as we all do him.
    Good luck Patrick. We will all be following you wherever you may end up and will be wishing you the best for you, your family and your career moving forward.

    Great heartfelt piece of writing once again Tab!

  41. Tab, Agreed that the Hawks need to send Sharp off the RIGHT way. Booman and MM, I think the reality is that Sharpie would be 5 or 6 in “franchise” players who could be “protected” 19, 88, 2 and even 20 and 81 would probably be in front of him.

    That said, great article to a great Hawk.

  42. Excellent article and real eye opener for all of the band wagon Hawks fans that read the article
    ( by the same guys) who ripped this man to shreds just a short time ago.
    Patrick, you’re a class act and a painful reminder of why I hate the salary cap.

    Wherever this path takes you and your family, know that you will always have fans here in Chicago that know just what you meant to our Beloved Blackhawks

    You’re the man Sharpie! 10 Forever!

  43. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back down the road.

    I want to encourage that you continue your great posts, have a nice afternoon!

  44. Happy fathers day!

    Sharps market price is being set as we move along and Stan has send out the requests. Rumor is Stan is looking for a 1st rounder, prospect and an entry level 2 way player. Curiously enough many teams feel he is worth it and the Caps are a team to keep an eye on.

    @ Big Indian i respect your opinion and can only assume you feel about Sharp the same way I feel about Crow. Crows a guy that constantly gets dumped on in town although I will agrue that he has been a bigger reason the Hawks have 2 cups then alot of players on this roster. Again Shooter has been a heck of a player for alot of years but ive been in the move Sharp camp for a looong time and another cup isnt going to change my opinion sorry.

    Im excited to see the return on moving him!

  45. Much as Crow won me over during the 2015 playoffs, he is still a $6 Million cap hit and is more easily replaceable than Sharp, Oduya, etc. Oh, well. Thanks for the memories, Sharpshooter!

  46. BA, just for argument sake, I don’t think that is Crow is more easily replaceable than Sharpie. There are only a handful of proven championship goalies in the league. There are dozens of proven championship forwards. That said, $6mm is a TON of Cap space for a goalie. Would you feel different if Crow only made $4.5mm. The reality is it does not change the situation much.

  47. Obviously, management feels that 10 IS more easily replaceable, otherwise Tab’s article would have been about Crow

  48. @SouthSideHawkMan
    My rant wasn’t against your opinion on whether he should be moved, but the tone of your post. I actually do think he will be moved and that it probably does make the best sense for the team finances-wise and maybe roster-wise (turnover has to happen). You are right. My feelings are probably very similar to yours on Crawford.

    With the bickering now aside, I’ll pose some hypothetical questions, however stupid they may seem …….
    Would Bowman move BOTH Sharp AND Crawford? I know it sounds ridiculous, but how does the future look for Darling and Raanta? Would Bowman roll the dice and go for Darling as #1 and try to get players, picks, etc. for Crawford? I know it’s not seriously the same thing, but Niemi was gone after a cup year.
    Is Sharp’s space enough to get rid of? Does getting rid of Sharp, and not bringing back Oduya give the team enough bucks for what they need for next year and the future? Saad needs to get paid, the defense needs additions and depth.

    Rambling questions, I know. Don’t expect answers. Bowman et al will give them in time. I think I’m more unsure about next year’s lineup than I have been in any of the past few years.

  49. hmmmmm….my post above is in moderation. It’s pretty nice and even somewhat conciliatory. Oh well, Happy Fathers Day to all, and GO BLACKHAWKS!!!

  50. Mtl/Caps are rumored front-runners…

    Caps have higher 1st pick– Colin White- looks like a stud. T Konecny.
    But- Habs have way better Prospect pool -IMO…

    other than T Wilson and #20… I am hoping for Habs elc’s + 1st pick…
    Bittner is another Huge kid/Power forward in draft- supposed to be around at #26

  51. @Mike….not saying Sharp would be an automatic keeper if each team had one player exempt from the draft…obviously each team would select the highest paid player and that $ fiqure would not go against the cap…a “face of the franchise” as Booman put it…however this opens up a cascade of options down the line. Still with Sharps age and salary, with this scenario, they still may move him. Montreal fans up here are salivating at the chance for Sharp. Whole things just a pipe dream anyway. I’m not in favour of the cap whatsoever….Dynasties are good for buisness as are giant killers ( ala 1961 Blackhawks )…the free market always does best and you cannot equate Glendale with New York or Montreal. Smaller market teams would need smart managers and really good scouting and can win a cup same way David vs. Goliath. Or…we could just take all the nonsense a step further and just give everyone a participation award so no ones “feelings” are hurt and worry that their self esteem is destroyed!. The real economic response in the future will be along the lines of catering to and trying to keep the attention of the millenial generation…they just “pop in” and out, very mobile, don’t sit in front of the old boob tube. Challenging.

  52. First sentence should read “one player exempt from the cap”…not the “draft” bad. Now that I’ve made that correction, its gets me thinking …how about a team can exempt one player from the cap in exchange for giving up their first up draft pick. Ah, forget it, not gonna happen.

    Sharp will give good production and a winning vibe wherever he goes, for the next 2 years anyway, maybe more.

  53. Southsidehawksman/Wall, Id rather Sharpy go to WAS because Brow is there. Other then that say thing whatever is better.

    Brad, even though 33 is good and 31 is not too shabby. I can imagine that 20/86/P are going to be as good as 10 once they are in the prime yrs. Which is still 3, 2 and 5 yrs from now.

    I have meet dozens of MON people in the last few yrs, complimenting my Jersey and everyone of them say. You know whos good, Sharp.

  54. Thank you Patrick Sharp – whether you go or stay.

    If Sharp goes – I’ll miss him. I mentally link him to the start of this incredible current run. I have lived out in central MO that last 25 years and getting news about the Hawks has always tenuous – newspaper box scores when they think to print them, the odd telecast either national or from SL, and even weak AM radio signals at night.

    It’s when I started seeing Sharp frequently listed as a goal scorer – I started thinking something good might be happening. I started reading the Trib and Sun Times online for more and eventually found this blog.

    Sharp has been my favorite player – I love pure snipers – but he is not just a sniper anymore but a solid two-way guy. One of the club greats!

    and Tab – and all you posters – thanks for this blog.

  55. Sharp shooter is a class act, and impossible to replace. As long as he doesn’t end up on the Quaks, I’m fine with him going to another team. I believe he will be back in Chicago in a few years to finish his career a Blackhawk, as he should. We will really, really miss you Sharpie. Best of luck where ever you land. You represented the Hawks with pure class, and a great work ethic. You won’t EVER be forgotten.
    Johnny J

  56. No matter what happens Sharp was a great Blackhawk. His talent and work ethic will be missed. I wish him and his family success (except against the Hawks) and happiness in the future!

  57. Sharpy loves Chicago. I would imagine him coming back to finish his career with caphit that will work. Sharpys footprint in Chicago will always remain.

  58. I,am so sorry to see Patrick Sharp leave, he has been joy to watch on the ice and such a sweet heart. Thanks for the Stanley Cup for Chicago. I will never for you and your handsome face. GOD BLESS PATRICK SHARP AND HIS FAMILY.

  59. Watched the 3rd period again last night….that was some intense hockey. Don’t think the fans in the seats sat at all….stood up for the whole thing…and really loud. Watched both CBC and NBC feeds to get a different perspective and analysis from the crews. The same feelings of dire apprehension flooded in to me even though the outcome was known. Richards froze Bishop cold with that no look pass to Kane and into the yawning cage. Q looked like he was just going to blow up into a million pieces right then and there at any point during the third. Couple of cheap “leave my goalie alone” headshots from the Bolts and a pretty blatant trip on us not called, yet a sorta weak call on 11 near the end. Who cares, we won the Cup! CBC had that interview with Cooper in the hallway off the tunnel as the celebrations were going on the ice. where he states that he never envisioned himself on this side of things, that he was sick for himself, his staff and the players….dude was either really hurtin’ or really acting …Guy is a real knob.
    This was the best Cup win ever, especially from a tactical point of view, very difficult, and the very definition of teamwork and professionalism.

  60. Hawks fans. Anyone know whether there is a way to restructure Bickel’s contract to reduce the cap hit in the near term? Even if it means extending the length of the contract. I know he underperformed etc. but he’s big, has a good shot and he hit people on the Anaheim series. I would like the hawks to keep him because I think he can add something to the roster that the hawks can benefit from

  61. Fabulous article – whether they are rumors or facts on the discussion Sharp and Hawks have had this week, it sounds like Sharp and the Hawks will do the classy thing and help Sharp land where it works for him and his family. He deserves it (and obviously Hawks need him to waive his NTC). He’s had a rough year with all the personal rumors (either true or false) at least he can go out as a champion for an organization he help revitalize.

  62. re: Sharp vs Crawford – if you’re going to start a season w/ 3-4 rookies including TvR on the blue line, do you want to also open the season w/ relative unknowns in net w/ Raanta & Darling? Love me some Darling – and I think he might eventually replace 50 – but there’s no way in hell I start a season w/ his NHL resume + rookies on the blue line. Keeping Crawford into the coming season makes sense.

    Also, Sharp being on the way out might be the worst kept secret in Chicago based on the number of people asking if this is premature…

  63. Even if they did move Crawford for cap reasons they’d bring in another veteran to pair with Darling. It wouldn’t be a Darling/Raanta pair.

    Raanta is either playing in Rockford or he’s traded. I would bet the latter. They like him as a real “team guy” and want to do him a solid by getting him somewhere he’s got a chance to play. They won’t give him away, though.

  64. Tab, I would fully bet they’ll bring in a vet on defense on a short term deal, even with the rookies knocking at the door, TvR, and possibly Reilly. Lots of guys would love to play here for a year or maybe more.

    This organization loves stashing young guys in Rockford for at least a few months to get tons of ice time and familiarity with the pro game. All things being equal I’m seeing Stephen Johns on the team along with Reilly if they sign him. And then a cheap vet they like to round out the top 7.

    But that’s a long way away. These next two weeks will reveal a lot and all of our speculation could be unfounded. Either way, it’ll be fun though!

  65. I’ve been told the org loves both Johns & Paliotta, and both are expected to be an impact on the blue line next year. Throw in TvR and you’re looking to rent a 7th dman (Brookbank? i kid, i kid) until Pokka is ready… and if they sign Reilly?

    Clearly TvR has won Quenneville; him getting into the lineup, even for minimal minutes, in the Cup Final after being out w/ injury as long as he was speaks volumes about where he stands w/ the organization.

  66. Mining, it absolute hosreshit that they let them get away with that stuff and not just because they do it more often and we play more clean/by the rules. Its one thing to let things go because its the playoffs, do not whine or bitch about calls, but just because they cheated that many more times then us at that point in game, that why they didn’t against trip on 11 and follow threw to back of head on 16.

    Its all horseshit, but in playoffs I am ok with stuff as long as they call more against the team the does 10-1 realistic, so 3-1 is in their minds ok. They did a fairly good job but should have not called trip on 11 because of marine tackle on 23 for example.

    Bias or not, East coast carmel or not, they gave them the calls overall and we still did what we did. It does NOT always even out. You have to do what you have to do, with that fucking horseshit sometimes. And we did, again. Righteousness.

  67. Tab and hof both nailed it. TVR is on the team. But you cant have TVR, johns, Reilly, rundblad, 4 thru 7. There clearly will be a veteran in there. Whether it be jackman,or hejda, or erskine. Somebody will play 30 games for the league minimum. Nobody should be surprised let alone upset by the scuttlebutt.

  68. I really think that we get surprised and see Crawford getting dealt. It also would not surprise me if we see Niemi taking short money to come back to the Hawks to share duty with Darling. I also think Bowman will end up getting 2 number one’s in next week’s draft.

    As you boys are discussing, Johns, Paliotta (or Reilly), and TVR will be on the team. Moving Crawford gives them more UFA flexibility and I believe SB brings in a solid dman for short money or resigns Oduya on a discounted deal. I believe the D-core next year will be the strongest in the NHL by the second half of the season. Pairing the young guys with the top 3-4 dmen will prep these young guys for the playoffs. Runblad’s going to Columbus for a pick.

    With the added flexibility of shedding 50, 10, 29, & 23 salaries, I believe we may have an outside chance of bringing back Vermette. Richards will take anything to stay and play with Kane since he is still getting his Ranger’s cash. That will keep us strong up the middle because we don’t have any 2nd or 3rd line centers in the pipeline unless Danault surprises. Kruger is not going anywhere and will be on our 4th line. My biggest concern is losing too much at center. I prefer younger and faster, but due to the cap issues, Richards would be a nice stop gap.

    Saad is staying. I hope Panarin and Teuvo can pick up the scoring that we are losing with Sharpie (if he goes).

    It is going to be an exciting week. Hell, this is as exciting as the Stanley Cup run. I am really excited about seeing what SB and Q can do with new faces they bring in.

  69. I can see where moving Crawford makes sense for the money, but I think I agree with Tab that if you are going to go young with the back end of the defense, Crawford would stay. In the press, Bowman has spoken fondly of the 1 – 2 team of Crawford and Darling and how he likes that going forward (for what that’s worth, he could be playing possum!).
    As for Jackman …… the St. Louis folks pretty much thought he’d lost a step and cost them this past season. I wonder if the Hawks would look at him for low money on a 1 year?

  70. I dealt with some new Hawks fans last night, telling me how Saad will have to be traded because he doesn’t put up enough points..
    When I was done laughing, I explained how hockey works, who would need to be traded and why, and all was good again in the world.

    Sharp has a heavy tag, but veteran forwards with 3 cups under their belts before 35 aren’t exactly easy to get before they are old and busted.

  71. assuming SB lands a 1st pick in the 20-30 range…

    Tab- are you hearing any targets from Hawks???

    I like this Colin White, and Bittner kid

  72. Sharp Vs Crow for me is a no brainer, but I won’t belittle those who value Sharpie more then myself.

    I’ve been slow to jump on the TVR bandwagon, although the kid has shown be alot this season. I guess my biggest concern with TVR is the kid is ALWAYS hurt. He has had 3 series injuries in his last 3 seasons of hockey. I’m not sure he is a player who the organization can always count on because of his injury history. No question he is an NHL player talent but can he be counted on. Only time will tell.

    Tab in your opinion is Pokka still a year away?

  73. SSHM- I love Johns too… but let’s not forget – Johns had 3 injuries in rookie year in AHL!!! a little ominous???

    concussion, knee, broken arm…

    like others here say… Will be tough to go into year w/ Basically 3-4 Rookie/D men…
    but -IF- Crow dealt… SB would have some good cap room (10,29 dealt too)… to really grab a quality Vet/D man- Yet SB says- CC not on blocks- so I can see the cheaper/older 5th or 6th man being picked up

  74. Well said Tab regarding your quality researched piece on Sharpy. Very, very well done. You pointed out what a great player Sharp has been for this franchise. 10 really grew as a player once he laced em up here in Chicago. The guy wore the A for a reason. He backed up his team mates and when needed he had a real edge to his game. He took no crap from anyone with out getting them back. I will never forget an interview I heard on the radio here in Chicago I think from late last year with a former team mate of Sharpy when he was with Thunder Bay(?). The guy was saying that Sharp went from a skilled offensive player to a guy that absolutely put an edge on his game. Changed boom, just like that. People stopped messing with him, but when they did they paid a dear price. He could throw with the best of em and didn’t back down.

    Yes he was, and probably still is a major league sharpshooter. Loved to hear ZZ Top blaring Sharp Dressed Man when 10 would bury one at the UC. Sharp was/is? an elite finisher. It’s a pity his numbers fell off the cliff, but he still played a good two way game in my book.

    Sharpy is a core guy in this team. No way around it. The cruelty of the cap means someone making alot of money on the back side of a great career will probably go. I think that Patrick Sharp will be an asset to any team smart enough to pick him up. He is a proven winner and still has the physical tools to help any team, especially one that needs some extra offense to put that team into contention. The Hawks should get some decent compensation in return.

    What people don’t talk about much as it relates to Sharp is what a great interview the guy was win or lose. Really eloquent and well spoken. In a sense he was one of the best spokespersons for the team. He could easily morph someday into a talented TV or radio color guy or moderate on NHL Network.

    Sharpy imo will always be one of the great players in franchise history. That is elite company, but he has earned it. Sad that he will probably be gone, but we have our memories. If he leaves, the Hawks organization will no doubt honor his achievements with a classy presentation at the UC. It will bring tears to my eyes as I am sure it will to thousands of others.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  75. I was just thinking about Johnny Oduya and when they acquired him. Wow was there a lot of bitching from some of the blowhards on other sites that used to be popular gathering places … “how stupid” were the Blackhawks to give up a 2nd and 3rd round pick to get a defenseman who wasn’t physical?

    Oduya ended up being a key cog and played an important part in winning two Stanley Cups.

    So I would bet if they’re going to sign a reliable lower pairing defenseman it’ll be someone who can skate and move the puck … OR … someone who is so reliable that not being a great skater is ok.

    And of course until Oduya signs elsewhere he’s still an option.

    Management knows:

    – everything starts with their 200 foot game and their transition game
    – the defensemen are the critical cogs in that game
    – they need to start transitioning this defense and begin to work in some young guys, which they’ve done with TvR to an extent
    – players from around the league want to play here

    I think they’ll have lots of options in putting this team together.

    Right now, this week, their top priority is acquiring some draft choices. I’d be very very surprised if they go into the weekend with no picks until #54.

  76. Paliotta’s name keeps missing from our conversations around the blue line next year but he really impressed the organization in his brief time here

  77. GM’s will learn the Cap number tomorrow, I assume once SB knows what he has to work with it won’t be much longer until the 1st domino falls.

    Am I crazy to think it wouldn’t be an awful idea to make a play for known dbag Barret Jackman at the league min?

  78. SSHM, about the career douche bag Jackman idea. Rollover, go back to sleep, and forget about that nightmare. The horror…..unspeakable horror.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  79. Tab- agree on Paliotta… imo- he made some mistakes in His Hawk Debut… but seemed to be “coached” on the fly… and seemed to correct those mistakes on the fly – later in game… so – Unlike Cden/Dbeck (who had been in System for while)… Paliotta- seemed way smarter/coachable to me!!!

    just my 2 cents

  80. Unfortunately, don’t think Oduya will sign on the cheap anywhere. Why should he. As a legit and solid, if not exciting, Dman, he is not gonna make $6mm a year. So he will need and want to get as much as he can for as long as he can. I think to keep him………$4mm per for 3 years.

    The Hawks are just going to have to rebuild their defense from the ground up. AKA the Jets due to all those injuries.

  81. They’ve liked Paliotta ever since they drafted him and the development people have helped him with his game while he was at Vermont. He will see some time in the NHL this year … I’m comfortable predicting that … but I also think he will see a lot of time in Rockford. They absolutely hate rushing guys.

  82. Hawks have 82 games to get 3 defenders prepared for the playoffs. Between Pokka, Paliotta, Johns, TvR, and a likely free agent signing, I don’t think that should be too much of a concern. Johns has a pretty high floor, so I have perfectly fine feelings towards him. I’ll feel even better about Johns when he learns to not play like a wrecking ball every shift because that leads to him hurting himself. Then you have TvR anchoring the third pairing with whoever they want to throw out with him.

    Oduya and Rozsival had awful regular seasons last year with a rotation of an even worse 6th defensemen, the Hawks still managed to take home the Jennings trophy. That’s pretty good. Oduya, after returning from injury, was incredible to close out the year. Rozsival, after some serious struggles in the Predators series (mostly due to their style) really stepped up against the Wild before blowing the tire.

    I’ll understand if the Hawks don’t want TT starting the season as a center, but rather moving him there closer to the end of the year to limit the amount of work he does throughout the year. I’m afraid we’re going to have to see Shaw at center again and that isn’t good for anyone.

    19/86/16/Danault down the middle would be pretty good, but that would effectively make two checking lines which I don’t think Q wants, so we’ll probably see Danault flanking Kruger. Basically, unless the Hawks can get someone on the cheap, Danault or TT will have to play center. Maybe Kruger is ready to step up into a scoring role?

    Panarin/86/88 (yes small, but might be able to do magic.



    Obviously the Hawks will take a flyer or two on some free agents that want to play in Chicago. This roster doesn’t scream Stanley Cup from opening night, but we’ll have to be patient and see if the kids can play. Stan has been building the farm anticipating this day, so here’s to hoping they can find the guys that stick.

  83. ……..obviously mixed emotions if Sharp is dealt…..since he is a core player and helped build the Blackhawks into a dynasty….but this is the new reality of the salary cap era…..dont like the rumors and slandering by media….trying to make it an issue during the playoffs and finals…..but it is ironic because all teams face this issue sooner or later….

  84. Sometime I get the feeling people think players will give up millions to be in Chicago. That is just not the case. YES, who wouldn’t want to play in Chicago? Winning team, stable management, large market, great ownership. But money talks. Richard could have played he for ZERO and still made millions. But he didn’t. He received $2mm PLUS his buyout comp. If we look…..19 and 88 at $10.5 are not big discounts, if discounts at all. (YES they are worth the $$) Bickell at $4mm, Crow at $6mm I would not consider discounts. And the Hawks had to match offer to keep 4. Hell, I am not sure 44 signed for a “discount”. Bargains like 4 and 2 are pretty rare, but I am not sure they were discounts at the time.

    I believe that mostly players who are in their declining years sign for discounts to win a Cup. Younger players want to win but they (and their agents) want the money because you never know. Saad wants to stay in Chicago, sure…….but it is gonna take some money to do so. Players with big skill shy away from bridge deals because they know their careers can end in an instant.

  85. I think it was discussed last year: if Mike Richards is bought out, what is the range for his next contract? He’s still a decent player but his contract is absurd. I would only want him on a 1 year, <1.5 million deal, where Brad gets first dibs on the contract before Mike. He's a winner at all levels and he might want to redeem himself on a championship team.

  86. Prior to the Stanley Cup Finals being finished, there were reports about a couple of other teams wanting to go after Seabrook (the ones I saw where there was some detailed discussion were Dallas and Edmonton). He is due a big payday after this upcoming season (I think). The supposed downside seen by the two teams mentioned was that he’d want a long term deal worth megabucks that they would not want to commit to due to his age.
    Not looking to get my head bit off here, but do you folks think Seabrook is untouchable in this upcoming set of changes? I would like to think so. However, Stan B. has to be looking beyond this upcoming year…..some young D-men coming up…..needs to shed salary…..just sayin’.
    I ain’t wantin’ it. I’ll hate it if it happens. But is it possible it could happen?

  87. We only have 3 reliable, proven defenseman right now Big Indian so I would say 7 is untouchable. I would be shocked if 7 is moved. How come I am reading no rumors about Bickell? I hope we are not going to be stuck with him and his unearned 4 mil.

  88. Mike is right. Yeah, there are “discounts” but let’s not forget these guys are union and they have to answer to and be part of the NHLPA.

    They did really really well with Keith’s contract but not Bickell’s, although the latter’s wasn’t s much of an albatross which prevented them from winning the Cup.

  89. no way Seabrook goes and anyone thinking he’s on the block is crazy.

    the reason you haven’t read anything Bickell related here in a long time is because he hasn’t done anything worth mentioning on the ice; it’s been 25 months by my count. No long goodbyes for 29 when he’s dealt this week. $4M off the books. Patrick Sharp earned every word we wrote here – he’ll always be one helluva Blackhawk.

  90. Great write up, Tab. An A+ effort and overall Hawks career from a B+ talent. When the chips were down, and the Hawks needed it, Sharp turned into the physical player they needed (once Bickell was sat down), and still contributed on offense. I admit I was, well, not disappointed, but maybe slightly miffed when he wasn’t moved last off-season as he was past his career year and his offensive game began declining- the getting was better then. But hey, how bad can Patrick Sharp returning to your team really be? Not much downside there and the results were pretty good as it turned out. We’ll never know what happened off the ice, but I’ve never seen a team handle an ugly situation better. The next guy on this team to wear the A (oh the irony) is going to have some huge skates to fill- I hope it’s 16, he’s quite the vocal leader as I saw first hand in game 1 against the Ducks, he gave 11 an earful, and you can’t say he doesn’t lead by example. Hope he’s wearing the Indian next year.

    Great career for a great champion, #10 will be missed.

  91. Anyone that questions the value of Sharpie to this team and how important he has been…. does anyone remember the radio ad that was run in 2007-2008? The ad featured Sharp, Kane, and Toews talking about how they were going to score lots and lots of goals. Almost 800 goals later with regular season and playoffs included between the three of them in Blackhawk jerseys. Enuff said!

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  93. As a diehard Flyers fan, I knew the day that trade was made that the Flyers were making a huge mistake. They can sugar coat it all they want, but the only reason they moved him was because for some reason, Ken Hitchcook didn’t like him. Well I’m glad to see he’s had a terrific career with the Hawks, and I hope he continues to do a great job for whatever team he ends up with.

  94. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Khabibulin, but then again, that would be irrelevant. But changing of the times brings drastic measures. Wonder who is going to be the next Phenom. (panarin, hopefully)

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