Photo: USA Today
33-year-old Patrick Sharp just won his third Stanley Cup in six years with the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s also likely won something else: a permanent trip to another team this summer.
Tuesday night, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun went on Montreal’s TSN 690 and had a discussion about the Blackhawks and their difficult cap situation. According to ESPN, the team has a little more than $66 million committed to 13 players next year. That includes the first year of identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
With next year’s cap expected to be $71 million, the Hawks have little wiggle room to fill out the roster, especially because they want to re-sign restricted free agent forward Brandon Saad. Moving Sharp would free up $5.9 million the Hawks could spend elsewhere. LeBrun believes Chicago will shop Sharp during the offseason and he could end up on the Washington Capitals.
“Patrick Sharp is a guy that I think still has some good hockey left in him. He’s a clutch player. He’s got three Cups under him. And he’s also lived the experience of going from the worst team in the league, basically, to building a dynasty. That’s a pretty valuable process to have under your belt. It’s not just dropping in on a team and winning a bunch of Cups. He went from the bottom to the top and I think there’s some valuable experience there.
“I think the Washington Capitals are a team that I see as a fit for him – among the many – but I think they would like to add a top-6 player there and a guy that’s won. We know what the Caps’ issues are, right? So that would be an interesting fit for me. But who knows?
“The bottom line is this – because of his age and the fact that Teravainen is pushing from behind and Brandon Saad is already a top-6 star really in his time. It might have even been time for the Hawks to do this even if they didn’t have the cap crunch, just because of the top-6 talent they have – the top-9 talent they have.
“So it’ll be interesting to sort of find out where he lands, unless Stan Bowman has a couple of tricks up his sleeve where it’s not Patrick Sharp and we’re not seeing it in front of our eyes, that would be a bet for me.”
Sharp is a four-time 30-goal scorer and has two years remaining on his current deal where he’s owed $5.9 million per season. He would be a perfect line-mate with Evgeny Kuznetsov on the second line.
The Capitals were initially linked to Sharp before the trade deadline, potentially discussing a deal that included Joel Ward and a first-round pick.
Thanks to Reader Brian P. for sending this over.
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