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Patrick Sharp signs 1-year, $800,000 contract with Blackhawks

Sharp is officially back.

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2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Patrick Sharp has signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team announced Saturday following the opening of free agency. The deal also includes $200,000 in games played bonuses, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Sharp played with the Blackhawks from 2005-15, establishing himself as one of the key players on three Stanley Cup teams. He was one of their most reliable scorers with six 25-goal seasons, including four seasons with 33 goals or more.

The Blackhawks traded Sharp to the Dallas Stars in 2015 in order to clear salary cap space. He had a strong first season with the Stars, recording 55 points in 76 games, but stumbled to just 18 points last season as he struggled through injuries. Eventually, his year was cut short by hip surgery.

That surgery puts a question mark over Sharp’s status for next season, but it’s also part of why the Blackhawks will presumably get him at a very cheap price. Hedger says he’s likely taking a massive pay cut from the $5.9 million he annually received on his previous contract.

That almost goes without saying at this point because the Blackhawks hardly have any salary cap space. More changes are surely coming when free agency opens at 11 a.m. CT, but

It’s fair to wonder whether Sharp is the right target, but there’s reason to believe that he can still help an NHL team.