Who Wins the Patrick Sharp Trade?
On July 10th, to really the surprise of no one who pays attention to hockey, the Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Patrick Sharp and defensive prospect Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. So which team came out on top in the end?
Now, Sharp is no spring chicken, but he is a player known for putting the puck into the net on a regular basis. He has topped 30 goals in three of the last five seasons, and has a fantastic shot. Not just known for his offensive ability, but he is also dependable in his own zone as well, making him a highly capable two way forward.
Cap issues plagued the Blackhawks once again this offseason, as they normally do after every Cup the Hawks have won since 2010 leading to a exodus of players many thought were untouchable at one point. Sharp has been deemed a walking cap hit however in recent seasons, so the Hawks realized it was time to part ways.
For the Stars to get a player like Sharp will only compliment their forward unit that has Tyler Seguin, captain Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky at its core. If anyone thought the Stars would struggle to score goals this upcoming season, this trade should quell those doubts in a heartbeat.
Chicago won the cup last year technically with four defenseman after losing Michael Rosival to an ankle injury during Game 4 the western conference semifinal. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson were depended upon to keep the Tampa Bay Lighting’s attack at bay, which they did. Oduya is all but gone as he is searching for a new home via free agency, so with the Hawks getting Trevor Daley in return should help things out there. Daley should fit in well seeing as he was playing in over his depth as a top pairing defenseman in Dallas. He should be on the third paring in Chicago, which will bode well for both him and the Hawks. Any defensive shortcomings Daley has, and he does have them, could be fixed by putting him out there with players who can make up for them.
Garbutt could serve a bottom six role and the Hawks coaching staff has the uncanny ability to get the best out of players who might be useless in another system. The lingering worry for Hawks fans is that by adding Garbutt to the system, is a similar type agitator and fan favorite Andrew Shaw expendable for a possible trade down the line?
Giving up Daley might worry some Dallas area hockey fans that their already paper thin defensive line is now on life support, but in getting Johns from Chicago should help quell those worries. Dallas has also shored up its goaltending as well adding Antti Niemi into the mix. Throw in a few solid defenseman, and they could have a team to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.
In terms of picking a winner for this trade, honestly it was a perfect deal for both sides. The Hawks needed defensive help and cheap options for players which they got and also relieved their books of Sharp’s $2.5 million cap hit. Dallas bolstered their forward unit by adding one of the best snipers in the game today as well as shoring up their defensive prospects.
Sharp will mainly be remembered for his time as a Blackhawk and fans should receive him with open arms whenever he returns to the Windy City for his first game back. When these two teams meet, it should be a fun affair.