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Patrick Sharp was the best offensive player on the Blackhawks during the regular season. His 34 goals was the most on the team and was good enough for ninth in the NHL. His 12.1 shots per 60 minutes was the fifth in the league and his 313 total shots was second only behind the one man show, Alex Ovechkin. Shooter was a big producer with on the power play as well. His 10 goals and 25 points with the man advantage tied him with Patrick Kane for the team lead in both categories. That is pretty impressive considering he plays on the blueline on the power play. Sharp was fantastic during the regular season but was a major disappointment in the postseason. Even though he would not admit to it, I have no doubts that Sharp was injured during the Hawks playoff run. Watching him during the playoffs, and especially during the Kings series, I have never seen Sharp so easy to check off the puck before. He seemed to avoid contact at all costs, which is not his style. I look back to the game on March 30th in Pittsburgh. We all remember the borderline hit on Jonathan Toews by Brooks Orpik that ended our captain's regular season. While everyone was screaming for retaliation, Andrew Shaw and Sharp were listening and both tried to lay the big hit on Orpik. The problem was that they both missed and Sharp seemed to get the worst of the collision between teammates. Sharp wasn't the same player in the playoffs and it wasn't just because he was "snakebitten." And of course his poor playoff performance has turned into a textbook case of "what have you done for me lately?" among Blackhawks fans as he has become the most popular trade candidate on social media. Patrick Sharp has scored no less than 33 goals in each of the last full 82 game seasons and he makes less than $6 million a year. I am sure Stan Bowman will shop Sharp around to see what he is worth, just like any good general manager would, but unless someone blows your mind with an offer I don't think he gets moved in the end. He is not going to get traded for Ryan Kesler because the Canucks want to get younger and the Blackhawks are not better with Kesler and no Sharp. His final grade only suffers a bit because of the way his year ended.
Final Grade : B
As you know, Sharpshooter enjoyed the best offense year of his career. Along with Toews and Hossa, the Red Wedding Line wreaked havoc in the league. There were shifts, periods, and entire games where opponents cried for mercy as the Rains of Castamere played. The start of the year was sluggish as his shooting % lagged behind his career average. But in December and early January, Sharp had a stretch of 15 goals in 16 games including two hatties against the Avs and the Devils, respectively. He wanted and earned his way onto that hockey murder machine known as the Canadian Olympic squad. He finished the year top 5 in Shots/60 at 12.1 and had a 57.2 5v5 CF%.
But the offense dried up for Sharp in the playoffs. He potted 5 goals on 19 games and never found his way groove. At times on the power play, when they actually gained the zone, it felt as though the Hawks were force feeding Sharpie, trying to will a goal out of him and get him on track. As he got bumped down the lineup, he also lost that redass game he hides so well but comes out when he's not filling the net. A lot of speculation swirled that he was nursing an injury, but nothing came out after the Kings series. Maybe just fatigue, maybe he's trying not to make excuses.
Sharp is a pretty hot name in the rumor mill. He's on the wrong side of 30, coming off a career year, a reasonable cap hit, and 3 years left on his deal. I understand the notion, but I see Sharp in an Indianhead sweater next season. Vancouver is in a rebuild phase, and wouldn't be interested in Sharp alone. They want young legs. Sharp and a top tier prospect is a colossal cost for someone like Kesler. With as much talent as there is on the roster, replacing ~30 goals is more of a chore than most people would think.
Sharp gets an A in hair, face, and season.