The Chicago Blackhawks will bring back one of their most popular players ever to wear their sweater, even if he does not fit one of their biggest needs.
Veteran Patrick Sharp, who played 679 games for the Blackhawks from 2005 to 2015, scoring 239 goals and making 272 assists, was an integral part of three Chicago Stanley Cup championships prior to being a casualty of the salary cap and traded in 2015 to the Dallas Stars and brought the Blackhawks Trevor Daley for a short stay.
According to one news source, Sharp will return to Chicago on a deal with that will hit the salary cap by only $1 million and is full of performance bonuses.
Last season was Sharp’s worst offensively since he was a rookie, a campaign that was injury filled that saw him end with a goals per game average of 0.17 over 48 games played.
Sharp is three seasons from his last season of 30 or more goals scored and he has reached the age of 35.
The deal is similar to two trends from Stan Bowman the general manager. The first is a low hit to the cap for a veteran who is a former star at forward.
The second is a nostalgia trip that is unending from Chicago which has seen former winners of Cups such as Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya and Andrew Ladd all return to the team after being casualties of the salary cap.
This offseason already Brandon Saad has returned following a trade with the Blue Jackets for Artemi Panarin.
Sharp’s year last season was cut short due to hip surgery and that puts a bit of a question mark on his status for the upcoming season, and it is also one of the reasons why the Blackhawks acquired him for just a cheap price.
The Blackhawks have very little if any space under the salary cap and more changes will come during free agency and having Sharp back in the fold will help the team if not just on the ice, in the locker room where veterans are invaluable commodities when battling in the NHL for a playoff spot.
The Blackhawks are expected to battle for a playoff berth this season, but are not one of the top favorites to win the Western Conference or the Stanley Cup.