Tag: Patrick Sharp

Johnny Oduya

Sabres GM Murray still targeting Oduya


With the Chicago Blackhawks still near the cap after trading Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp, unrestricted free agent Johnny Oduya might ultimately have a new home next season.

Sabres GM Tim Murray has been trying to lure over the 33-year-old defenseman and hasn’t given up as we near the third week of the UFA period.

“He hasn’t signed anywhere yet, so I haven’t moved on,” Murray told the Buffalo News.

He added that he is also looking at other free agents and trade opportunities.

For the record, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman hasn’t ruled out re-signing Oduya. The defenseman, who has been waiting for the team to clear cap space for him, plans to make his decision within the next week, but Chicago would be allowed to go over the ceiling to sign him as long as it finds a way to get back under it in the fall.

If Buffalo is able sign him though, it would provide the team with a veteran leader that has won the Stanley Cup twice and can log around 20 minutes per game.

Sharp says so long to Chicago with heartfelt ad

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five

Food for thought: maybe newspapers are the true winners of each offseason.

It’s almost a cliche at this point: when someone spends a long time in a city, that player (or even coach) will take a full-page newspaper advertisement out to say goodbye and thank you. Considering his lengthy stay with the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s no surprise that Patrick Sharp did just that, placing an ad with newspapers including the Chicago Tribune:

(Sharp must have at least 1,000 photos of himself with the Stanley Cup, right? It must have taken him a while to choose the right one for this spot …)

During Saturday’s introductory press conference, the 33-year-old said he wasn’t sure when he would touch base in Dallas, but he noted that his wife has never been to Texas. One can only imagine the conflicting emotions Sharp must be dealing with at the moment, as a long journey comes to an end … but at least the Stars show interesting promise.

Here’s the full text of his lengthy letter:

I arrived in Chicago in 2005, not knowing the journey that the Blackhawks would take me over the next 10 years. This team gave me an opportunity to play, to grow and become the person I am today. I will always be grateful for the time I spent here.

Winning the Stanley Cup once was a dream come true; winning it three times, with three different groups of teammates, coaches and trainers, was the ultimate privilege as a player. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride when I look back on all that we’ve accomplished together.

Thank you to Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Stan Bowman and the entire Blackhawks family for allowing me to be a part of a world-class organization on and off the ice. Thank you to the fans for embracing me as a player and accepting me as a part of Chicago.

This city has meant so much to me and my family: Three Stanley Cup victories. The birth of Madelyn Grace and Sadie Ellen. Endless memories from the fans, my friends and teammates. For the Sharp family, Chicago has become home.

Thank you,

Patrick, Abby, Madelyn and Sadie Sharp

Report: Kruger awaits long-term offer once Blackhawks clear cap room

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six

The Chicago Blackhawks still have some salary cap fires to put out, even after trading Patrick Sharp. It sounds like Marcus Kruger is willing to wait until the smoke clears.

ESPN Chicago reports that Kruger is fine with allowing the Blackhawks to take the time they need to clear salary cap space for a specific personal goal: a long-term contract.

General Fanager puts the Blackhawks’ current room at about $982K, but the situation is fluid even beyond defenseman Johnny Oduya’s future. Looking at qualifying offers alone, Chicago still needs to resolve discussions with Kruger, Joakim Nordstrom and Viktor Svedberg.

Kruger, 25, carried a cap hit of $1.325 million during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. His actual salary was $1.4 million last season. It’s not really clear what kind of money the useful depth forward is looking for, only that he seems most interested in term, at least according to ESPN Chicago.

To summarize: it seems like Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has some work to do before he can go in full-on vacation mode, but Kruger apparently isn’t giving up on returning to Chicago even if it means waiting in limbo for some time.