Could the Chicago-Florida pipeline open once again?

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Two things happened today that could be related somewhere down the road:

1) Chicago gave Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane matching eight-year, $84 million extensions.

2) This…

The Panthers and Blackhawks have one major thing in common — Tallon. He used to serve as the GM in Chicago and, during his tenure with the Panthers, has shown great affinity for his old Windy City buddies.

Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen all came directly from Chicago and, on July 1, Tallon kept the trend going by signing two more of his old ‘Hawks: Shawn Thornton and Dave Bolland.

So it’s pretty clear Tallon likes getting guys out of Chicago. Which brings us back to Kane and Toews.

When their extensions (and $10.5M cap hits) kick in for the 2015-16 campaign, GM Stan Bowman is going to be in a world of financial hurt. Per Capgeek, the club will have just 15 players under contract for $65 million, and there are some big negotiations down the road: Brandon Saad, a budding star in his own right, will need a new deal after next season; same goes for versatile center Marcus Kruger and offensive defenseman Nick Leddy.

(Blueliner Johnny Oduya is a UFA after next season too.)

It stands to reason that Bowman will need to move one of his high-priced forwards not named Toews or Kane in order to make this all fit. Patrick Sharp’s name has been floated on numerous occasions, as he’s on the books at $5.9M through 2017.

Sharp, it should be noted, has scored 30-plus goals in four of his last six seasons.

Sure sounds like someone Tallon might be interested in acquiring, no?