Blackhawks mail satchel: Should Chicago bring back Patrick Sharp?

Thoughts on a Sharp reunion, RFA targets, and more.

MAILBAG TIME!!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

Who do you think the hawks will bring back? I.E Sharp, or do you think they will revisit the Saad trade? — @venuscook

It’s hard to guess which players might be willing to take discounts like Brian Campbell a year ago, but Patrick Sharp feels like a good candidate. And if the Hawks are prowling on the free agent market for upgrades, realistically we’re talking about guys willing to sign for little more than $1 million.

I do think that pursuing Sharp on a deal similar to Campbell’s, like a base salary around $1 million plus another $1 million in performance incentives, would be a fine move for the Hawks. Sharp is coming off a down-year at age 35, but that’s also precisely why Chicago might conceivably be in the market for him. If he scored 60 points last season, odds are his market would be too expensive for the Hawks’ tastes.

And if Sharp can shake off those injuries and get back to being a 50-point left winger for the Blackhawks, that’d be a huge addition. I wouldn’t bank on him as the solution on the top line, but as a potential good secondary scorer for the third line on a low-risk contract? Sign me up, sure, why not.

As for the Saad trade, I think that’s in the past at this point. Hard to see the Blackhawks making an offer to the Blue Jackets so compelling that they’d pull the trigger to send him back to Chicago.

What do you think a player have to accomplish in his rookie season to make the HOF if he were forced to retire after that season? — @dracula_mclaser

This question piqued my curiosity, so I actually went back and looked at the Hockey Hall of Fame to see if anyone has pulled this off. The answer is yes — Lester Patrick (1947 induction) and Barnie Stanley (1962 induction) both made the HHOF despite appearing in just one NHL game apiece.

Patrick and Stanley both spent most of their careers playing in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, which ran from 1911-24, and the Western Canada Hockey League, which ran from 1921-26.

Patrick’s story is hilarious, per Wikipedia. Apparently the dude’s only NHL appearance came while he was coach and general manager of the New York Rangers in 1928 because he inserted himself into a game after the team’s goaltender suffered an injury.

Stanley had a similar tale, with the coach/GM of the Chicago Black Hawks appearing in one game for the team before getting fired 23 games into his first season running it.

None of this answers the question, but I thought it was interesting.

As for what would need to happen in a single modern NHL season to get a player into the HHOF, I’m not sure it’d be possible without a tragic story. If some stud came in, scored 200 goals in a season, won the Hart, Stanley Cup, and Conn Smythe, and then retired by choice, there’d probably be a section of voters who wouldn’t respect his choice to call it quits when he’s literally the greatest player ever. I wish I knew the answer to this one.

What do you think about the possibility of moving Panarin if it meant ditching Seabrook? — @HenryInAHammock

I’d say that’s too high of a price to pay to shed Seabrook’s contract. That deal will become a disaster soon enough, but the Blackhawks would be taking a huge blow over the next two years if they traded both those guys just to shed the cap hits. It’s not like the free agent market is so compelling that you could conceivably lose those two and easily replace them just because you have $12 million in cap space.

I’m all for trying to dump Seabrook’s contract, but if you’re trading Panarin, the main goal cannot be simply to shed salary. This reader, as part of his question, suggested the possibility of a Seabrook and Panarin for Gabriel Landeskog deal. It’s an interesting idea — Landeskog is signed longer than Panarin, plus you’d get out of Seabrook’s contract.

But the Avalanche would probably want younger players, and the Blackhawks would need to convince Seabrook to waive his NMC to go to a team that was historically crappy last season. Seems like a tough sell.

Who are some RFAs that Hawks could/should target in trades to remake the Hawks roster? — @nenterline

Part of the problem with RFAs is that it only makes sense to offer sheet a certain few of them. Superstars are worth risking the many draft picks tied to a huge offer sheet, but it’s often a fair question of whether an RFA is worth pursuing if it’s going to cost you several picks in addition to the contract terms when the other team could just match.

More likely, the Blackhawks would pursue a trade for an RFA like the Blue Jackets did in acquiring Saad two years ago. One target seems to be the Canadiens’ Alex Galchenyuk, who could be even more available after Montreal acquired Jonathan Drouin and gave him a six-year contract on Thursday.

There’s a rumor that the price tag for Galchenyuk would be Niklas Hjalmarsson, which obviously begs the question of whether that’s worth doing. But the potential ability to slot Galchenyuk at left wing next to Jonathan Toews next season while keeping the Panarin-Kane connection intact is very intriguing.

How does Tyler Motte fit in next year? — commenter xBearDownx

I’m a bit down on Motte at this point. He was never a big-time prospect until his breakout year at Michigan, and his first professional season didn’t really impress. He was brutal in 33 games with the Blackhawks, and didn’t look much better in Rockford.

Part of the lack of production with the IceHogs (16 points in 43 games) could be attributed to the team’s general lack of offensive talent, but this should temper expectations for the kind of player Motte can be in the NHL.

At this point, maybe Motte can help out as a bottom-six forward next season. He’ll surely get an opportunity at some point. But at this point, he’s been passed by Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman, John Hayden, Tanner Kero, and Vinnie Hinostroza in the organizational hierarchy.

Also a quick reminder that if I didn’t answer you question this week, it may be in the backlog for a future mailbag! You can DM us on Twitter at @2ndCityHockey or post comments here with new questions. Thanks for reading!