Chicago Blackhawks trade Patrick Sharp to Stars in 4-player deal
The heavy hand of the NHL salary cap officially ended Patrick Sharp's career with the Blackhawks on Friday night.
Sharp, who spent the last nine-plus seasons as a Hawk, was traded to Dallas along with defenseman Stephen Johns for veteran defenseman Trevor Daley and left winger Ryan Garbutt.
"I want to start by thanking Patrick Sharp for his tremendous service as a Blackhawk," GM Stan Bowman said in a conference call with reporters. "He's been here a long time. He's been a huge part of our team and we certainly wish him well.
"He's a class act on and off the ice. We're gonna miss him."
Patrick Kane's thoughts exactly. Tweeted the Hawks' superstar: "Gonna miss my big brother and one of my best friends"
The Stars will assume all of Sharp's $5.9 million contract, which Bowman has been trying to unload since shortly after the Hawks won the Cup in mid-June.
Bowman said that trading away such a big salary such as Sharp's can often net just draft picks, but he did everything possible to make sure the Hawks got NHL-ready players in return.
"There's been countless phone calls over the last three weeks trying to find the right deal, and this one finally made sense," Bowman said.
Daley, who is 31 years old and set career highs in goals (16), assists (22) and points (38) in 68 games last season, is set to make $3.3 million in 2015-16. He's been a regular for the Stars for the past 10 seasons.
"Certainly in today's game, having somebody on the back end who can score at that rate is a nice weapon to have," Bowman said. "We've always marveled at Trevor's ability to skate. He's a very active player, he's involved in the play. I think he's going to be a great fit for the style of hockey that we play here."
Daley's arrival very well may signal the end of Johnny Oduya's tenure with the Hawks. The Hawks could now start the season with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Daley, Trevor van Riemsdyk and David Rundblad as their blue-liners.
Asked if he thought the Hawks could still retain Oduya -- an unrestricted free agent -- Bowman said it's still "a fluid situation. We're getting closer to a point where we can say this is officially our team, but we're not there yet."
Another obstacle to retaining Oduya is the Hawks' desire to bring back restricted free-agent forward Marcus Kruger. With the Hawks still right up against the cap after this trade, another move would have to be made to re-sign both Kruger and Oduya.
As for Garbutt, he's a 29-year-old winger who had 57 points (25 goals) and 161 penalty minutes over the last two seasons with Dallas. The Stars will retain $900,000 of Garbutt's $1.8 million salary.
"You hate playing against him, but you like having a guy like him on your team," Bowman said of Garbutt. "He certainly can agitate with the best of 'em. He's got great speed as well. He's a versatile player; good role player."
Both Garbutt and Daley are signed through the 2016-17 season.
Sharp came to the Hawks in a trade with the Flyers in 2005. He put together five 60-point seasons and four times scored 30-plus goals. Just two years ago he had a career year with 34 goals and 78 points.
The veteran had a rough 2014-15 campaign, though, with just 16 goals and 27 assists in 68 games.
In the big picture, Sharp was an integral part of the Hawks' success over the past seven seasons. He came to a team in the pre-Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane era during a time the United Center was lucky to be half full on most nights.
Slowly but surely, things turned around and after the Hawks beat the Lightning for the team's third Cup in six seasons, Sharp acknowledged how much it's meant to him to play in this town.
"It's pretty special to look back at the last 10 years here in Chicago and remember what it was like seeing my parents in the stands in their own section," Sharp said. "Now, preseason games are sold out. We just won our third championship in six years. It's a special place to be."
Sharp leaves the Hawks ranking 15th in team history with 511 points and sixth with 42 playoff goals.
"We've been through a lot together," Bowman said. "He came here when our team wasn't at the level that we've been at in recent years.
"He played a big part in getting us to that next level.
"And obviously to win three Cups, it was a great ride alongside Patrick."