The Chicago Blackhawks have had legendary players in the mix for a lot of their recent years but where does Patrick Sharp stack up?
The Chicago Blackhawks were an elite team for ten years. It very well might go down as the greatest stretch in the history of the franchise. It is also one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the National Hockey League. They also had to do it in the salary cap era which makes it even more impressive. The fact that a player like Patrick Sharp was their sixth-best player says a lot about how good they were.
Sharp was a brilliant NHL player and was extra special in his year with Chicago. He spent the first two years and change with the Philadelphia Flyers. They traded him to Chicago 22 games into his 2005-06 season. He played in 749 games for the Blackhawks and scored 249 goals and had 283 assists for 532 points. It was a brilliant trade for Chicago as he was a key piece to their three-time championship core.
In addition to his brilliant offensive numbers, he was a very good defensive winger. He had the luxury of playing with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews at times who are some of the greatest defensive forwards of all time. Even when Sharp was on the ice with Patrick Kane he was very good defensively. A lot of the time, it allowed Kane to do his thing and Sharp was the beneficiary of it. He was given votes for the Selke Trophy throughout his career for that reason.
With a setup man like Kane or Toews, it was easy for Sharp to find himself with the puck in high danger scoring areas. He had a very good shot and could score goals from many different places on the ice. Patrick Sharp was a 30 goal scorer on multiple occasions which is why he scored 287 of them in total. He also had 42 playoff goals in 117 playoff games which went a long way in five very deep playoff runs.
As mentioned before, Sharp was very good with and without the puck. His 54.7 CorsiFor suggests that when he was on the ice, the Hawks had significantly more possession than their opponents at even strength. When a winger like that is as responsible in his own end as he is in the attacking end, it does wonders for a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations.
Sharp was traded to the Dallas Stars after winning the 2015 Stanley Cup. He spent two seasons with them where he played okay when playing with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Then, he signed a one year contract to play his final year with the Blackhawks again. He only had 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in those final 70 games with Chicago. After 15 great years in the National Hockey League, he decided to hang them up.
Sharp should be remembered as one of the great players from this Blackhawks generation. There is a chance that he has the honor of seeing his number 10 hang from the ceiling of the United Center someday. Either way, Sharp was brilliant for Chicago in both the regular season and the playoffs in his career.