Attaining the services of three-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Sharp via a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks is good business for the Washington Capitals—according to one NHL insider.
“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-six player there and a guy that’s won,” said TSN’s Pierre LeBrun while appearing on Montreal’s TSN 690. “We know what the Caps’ issues are, right? So that would be an interesting fit for me.”
Sharp has the Experience
That’s a mouth-watering trade proposition for the Capitals—a team in desperate need of an experienced player; and they don’t come much more experienced than Sharp who put his hands on a third Stanley Cup for Chicago earlier this week.
Sharp, 33, has two years left on his current contract with the Blackhawks, averaging around $5.9 million per year. In his just-finished 12th season, he tallied 16 goals and 27 assists and chalked-up a further five goals and 10 helpers during Chicago’s extended run to the Cup.
— Blackhawk Up (@Blackhawk_Up) June 19, 2015
Sharp’s NHL career stats are, of course, not too shabby. During his 745 games, he’s scored 249 goals, recorded 277 assists for a points tally of 526. The left winger may not be at the peak of his career, but his hockey know-how, his tenacity and his will to win are all at their peaks.
Mike Green Will Go
The Capitals have approximately $20 million of salary-cap wiggle room, so signing Sharp would not break the bank—especially when defensemen Mike Green makes his expected departure from the club during free agency. Additionally, the Capitals may also lose forward free agent Joel Ward.
Who else would make way for Sharp on the Capitals’ current roster? There’s one obvious scenario. Trade deadline acquisition left wing Curtis Glencross failed to impress for about 90 percent of his Capitals’ tenure. He’s on his way out in July freeing up a left wing spot.
With Glencross going, forward line reshuffle scenarios for a possible Sharp trade with the Capitals include trading a right winger and either promoting a young player from within in or acquiring a free agent right winger in July. That last option is unlikely though, given the slim pickings available on July 1 this year.
If LeBrun’s prophecy comes true and Sharp ends up in Washington for the 2015-16 season, then the next question is if Sharp would simply take Glencross’s spot on the fourth line. No—he won’t. More likely he’d end up on the second line, ousting Marcus Johansson from that spot.
The Capitals’ general manager Brian MacLellan is on record for wanting a new top-six player, and I’m with LeBrun—Sharp would ‘fit’ in nicely alongside the rising star center Evgeny Kuznetsov. His three Stanley Cup wins would also ‘fit’ into coach Barry Trotz’s winning mentality.
Ultimately, I expect Sharp to suit up in a Capitals uniform in October. As for who or what the Blackhawks get in return? My money is on a prospect and/or draft picks, plus … Jason Chimera.
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