Like several other contenders, the Chicago Blackhawks are on a quest to add a quality second-line center, but Patrick Sharp’s agent Rick Curran told ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers that his client won’t be involved in a trade to acquire such an asset.
Curran shot those rumors down with authority on Wednesday.
“There’s absolutely no truth to it,” Currant said. “They’re not trading him. He’s the last guy on the list who they would trade. He’s not available.
“Believe me, I’ve spoken to Stan a couple times, as recently as a few days ago. There’s absolutely no truth to it.”
Actually, Currant’s words were downright hostile at times in relation to the Sharp scuttlebutt:
Now, the Blackhawks didn’t provide Powers with a comment one way or another regarding Sharp, so there’s always the possibility that GM Stan Bowman would like to move Sharp.
Even if he does, moving the 32-year-old could be tricky. There are three years remaining on Sharp’s contract ($5.9 million cap hit), which importantly includes a modified no-trade clause. If Sharp doesn’t want to be traded, he could make things more difficult for Chicago, if not blocking a move altogether.
It’s not as if Sharp isn’t worth keeping, anyway. He was nearly a point-per-game player (78 points in 82 games) in 2013-14 and stands as a nice two-way player as well.
Powers points out that trading Sharp isn’t the only way to land a two-way center, anyway:
The Blackhawks possess some valuable prospects who could be packaged with a veteran to entice another team. They might be able to work out a trade if they include one of their up-and-coming defensemen, the rights to Kevin Hayes, a 2010 first-round pick who they aren’t likely going to sign, and even someone like Jeremy Morin, who has proven he can score at the NHL level, and include someone on the current roster to help provide cap relief. If the Blackhawks can get a little creative, they can hold onto their present and future core pieces and still upgrade at second-line center.
That doesn’t mean it will be an easy task.