The Chicago Blackhawks finally did what they had to do during the summer when they traded winger Patrick Sharp to the Dallas Stars on Friday night. But the deal not only forced the Blackhawks to trade one of their best scorers and fan favorites, but also another one of their prospect defensemen.
Chicago sent Sharp and Stephen Johns to Dallas in exchange for Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. Sharp was one of the players who many experts thought would have to be traded with the Blackhawks struggling to fit under the league’s salary cap. His contract had a $5.9 million hit with two years renaming in the contract, something Chicago could’t keep on its roster.
Sharp was the one of the team’s alternate captains and was a core member of the team. He is one of the few players to win all three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. The winger was one of the very few players who was part of the transformation of the organization — all the way from the dark ages to the glory days. He caught the fans’ hearts with his scoring and consistent play, and also caught the hearts of the women of Chicago with his good looks.
Although he one of the few players who the organization said would always be Blackhawks, he only scored 16 goals during the regular season and added five during the playoffs, a dip from the 34 and five, respectively, he scored the season before. The team didn’t want to do it, but Chicago knew that winnings championships has its costs.
The concerning part for the team is that it had to trade Johns. Chicago had a depleted defensemen group during the playoffs and will now most likely also lose Johnny Oduya, although he did say Chicago is still one of the teams he is still considering as a free agent. Johns was one of the top prospects and could’ve been part of the team’s postseason roster had he not suffered a broken forearm. The prospect is just another on the list of defensemen whom Chicago general manager Stan Bowman has to trade.
Chicago’s return in the trade isn’t anything special as it became apparent that Chicago’s asking price was too high for many teams in the league. Bowman had to make a deal so the next offseason pieces could fall. Daley is expected to be one of the defensemen to play when the regular season starts. Although Bowman could use him as a trading piece, the general manager has mentioned how much Daley impressed him. Garbutt had eight goals and 17 points during the past season.
It’s doubtful that these are all the moves that Bowman will have to make. Bryan Bickell will still have to be traded and the roster still needs to increase. The salary cap will continue to hurt the team as it tries to figure out how to piece together a roster that can defend it’s championship.