Campbell trade should help Hawks keep Sharp

One of the trickle-down effects from the trading of Brian Campbell for Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is there now is plenty of money looking down the road to sign Patrick Sharp before the team’s leading goal scorer becomes an unrestricted free agent a year from now.

As soon as this free-agency period is over in a few weeks, Bowman will turn his attention to Sharp, who enters the 2011-12 season on the final year of his contract.

Sharp’s cap hit is a reasonable $3.9 million, but that number likely would go well past $5 million, perhaps approaching $6 million, should he reach the open market in 2012.

“I’ve said it over and over that he’s a core player for us,” Bowman told reporters at the draft. “I expect to get him signed. I don’t expect this thing to go to next June.

“It’s pretty apparent he’s a big part of our team. He’s a player that has been very valuable to the Blackhawks and we want to keep him.”

Sharp has expressed no desire to leave Chicago as well.

The final cap number for Sharp when he does sign should fall at or just below the $6.3 million hits for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Upon further review:The Hawks left the draft ecstatic over the 11 prospects they selected over the two days in Minnesota, especially Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault, the two centers taken in the first round, and their two second-round picks, defenseman Adam Clendening and left wing Brandon Saad.#147;I was very happy with our mix of players,#148; Stan Bowman said. #147;It was a great draft.#148;While it#146;s always a longshot for any 18-year-old to make the team out of training camp, it happens all over the NHL every fall. McNeill, the 6-foot-2, 211-pound center from Prince Albert, might be the closest to being NHL ready.#147;He#146;s a big kid who still has a lot of maturing to do physically,#148; said Hawks director of scouting Mark Kelley. #147;You don#146;t expect (him to make the team), but that#146;s what prospects camp and training camp is for, to show they do belong.#148;Bowman said Boston University#146;s Clendening was a player he had been following for some time.#147;He#146;s a really likable player and a guy we wanted,#148; Bowman said.Russian forward Maxim Shalunov was an interesting pick at 109.#147;He#146;s 6-3 and has a great skill set,#148; Bowman said. #147;If he was from North America he would have been first-round talent.#148;Fresh start:Brian Campbell told the Miami Herald that he agreed to waive his no-trade clause with the Hawks and a deal to the Panthers for the opportunity it presented.#147;It wasn#146;t easy to leave Chicago,#148; Campbell said. #147;I enjoyed my time there, but this is an opportunity. This is going to be better for my career, going to Florida and playing a bigger role than I was in Chicago.#148;Panthers GM Dale Tallon, who successfully sold Campbell on Florida, called the defenseman a big piece to the rebuilding puzzle in South Florida.The Panthers are expecting Campbell to quarterback their power play that ranked last in the NHL.Next up:With free agency set to begin Friday, the Hawks have yet to announced if they have made qualifying contract offers to restricted free agents Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli, Viktor Stalberg and Jake Dowell.Some clubs announce their intentions and some don#146;t. The Hawks in recent years have not before the NHL does ahead of July 1.It#146;s believed Stan Bowman has every intention of trying to re-sign Frolik and Campoli before Friday.