Blackhawks

Patrick Sharp sad to leave Blackhawks, but looking forward to Stars

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Patrick Sharp sad to leave Blackhawks, but looking forward to Stars

Patrick Sharp felt the emotional mix once he found out he was traded to the Dallas Stars.

After hearing speculation and innuendo for quite a while now, there was naturally happiness to have the deal finally done. And while he’s ready to start a new chapter with a team on the rise, he’s also sad to leave a Blackhawks team he helped bring back to life.

Sharp talked Saturday of the four-player deal that sends him to Dallas. For Sharp, the last few weeks and months have been exhilarating and tiring. He won another Stanley Cup, the third the Blackhawks claimed in the past six seasons. He also heard constant chatter on where he could end up, given the Blackhawks’ salary-cap issues. And when the deal was finally made, it was like a weight was lifted.

[MORE: Stan Bowman - Blackhawks add pieces that "could help us now"]

“I’ve learned over the years not to listen to too many rumors, where they’re coming from unless they’re coming from [Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman] or my agent. But to hear the speculation was certainly something. It wasn’t weighting but it was getting annoying to a point,” Sharp said via conference call. “We wanted to get something done. I’m thrilled to get to Dallas and ready to get started with a new team.”

It wasn’t so much if Sharp would get traded as when he would get traded. The tighter salary cap – $71.4 million – coupled with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s new deals kicking in this season meant the Blackhawks had to shed money. Sharp, who has two years remaining on his current deal (cap hit of $5.9 million) was the most likely to go. Still, when that call comes, it’s not easy.

“The conversation with Stan was a tough one, as was the one with Joel [Quenneville],” Sharp said. “Whenever you leave an organization, there are certainly mixed emotions. You can’t say anything bad about the Blackhawks. I really enjoyed my time there. I’ve grown into the person I am today because of that organization. I look forward to reconnecting with those guys some day, be it the offseason or playing against them.”

[MORE: Blackhawks trade Patrick Sharp to Dallas Stars]

Sharp is heading to a team trying to return to its successful years (late 1990s-early 2000s). When the Blackhawks acquired Sharp 10 years ago, he was a young player joining a team that was also trying to revive its former glory. Ten years and three Stanley Cups later, Sharp departs Chicago a proven winner.

“It’s amazing to see the turnaround,” Sharp said. “That’s a credit to some of the players who played there, a credit to front office and to the fan base. It’s amazing to see them win their third Cup in a short amount of time. It speaks to the organization, what a quality group it is; first class in every way. Being a part of it for 10 years, it doesn’t surprise me anymore, with such good quality people there that they had such a turnaround.”

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The trade chatter has been silenced. The weight has been lifted for Sharp. It will be difficult to leave the place and a team he called home for the past 10 seasons but this is the business part of the sport that affects so many. It’s been a great run. Now Sharp is ready to turn the page.

“I can tell you I’m extremely proud of everything I’ve accomplished the last 10 years, on and off the ice. Sometimes that gets lost, the off-ice stuff the Hawks allowed me to do, whether it was interacting with fans, helping in a charitable way or just representing the city with the Hawks. The Cups stand out, no question about that,” Sharp said. “But that chapter of my life is over and I’m looking forward to starting a new one.”

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

The Blackhawks finally got on the board for the season and did so in front of the 500th consecutive capacity crowd at the United Center.

Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis break down the impressive performance by the Blackhawks against the undefeated Edmonton Oilers and discuss how Jeremy Colliton’s message got through to Alex Nylander and the rest of the team.

Plus, after an impressive performance in net, should Corey Crawford get the next game vs. the Blue Jackets? And what does the future have in store for Kirby Dach? Jamal makes a bold prediction.

0:54 – Blackhawks finally show urgency in 2nd period

2:47 – Penalty kill starting to show some life

5:00 – Thoughts on the Shaw/Strome/Kane line

6:43 – Blackhawks eliminating some defensive breakdowns

9:23 – Big rebound performance from Corey Crawford

11:36 – Colliton’s message to Alex Nylander got through

15:21 – Brandon Saad has been a pleasant surprise early on

17:15 – Dominik Kubalik’s impressive performance

18:31 – Will Kirby Dach be with the Blackhawks all season?

22:42 – Does Crawford or Lehner start vs. the Blue Jackets?

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Four takeaways: Corey Crawford shines in Blackhawks first win of the season

Four takeaways: Corey Crawford shines in Blackhawks first win of the season

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center on Monday:

1. Blackhawks are in the win column

The Blackhawks said after morning skate that they weren't going to "freak out" about their 0-2-1 start despite talking all training camp long about how they didn't want to dig a hole in October. Still, Monday felt like a game they had to win going into a three-day break because they have to start generating some positive vibes within the locker room.

And they did just that.

The Blackhawks handed the Oilers their first loss of the season (5-1-0), but more importantly, they're finally in the win column for the 2019-20 campaign.

"We played really well," Corey Crawford said. "I think everyone was going. Guys were coming back to help out defensively, and just a good team effort. The PK was strong, even though we gave up that one [late], it was strong early in the game. Just nice to win the first one."

2. Second period? That's more like it

The Blackhawks have been happy with their first periods this season. They've been mostly happy with their thirds. It's the middle frame that's been their downfall.

The team addressed those struggles as a team the morning of the game, and they certainly responded.

According to Natural Stat Trick, the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (32-8), even-strength scoring chances (16-6), even-strength high danger chances (5-4) and, of course, the goal column (1-0) in the second period. That's more like it.

"That was the message today from the coaches was how much better we need to be in the second," Connor Murphy said. "We showed examples of when we've done that in the past and what it takes. I think we were just better at staying on our toes and we drew some penalties and got on the forecheck quick and kept their goalie from being able to make plays and for them to be able to come up ice."

3. Corey Crawford shines

You could've made a good argument that Robin Lehner should've started this game, especially coming off a solid outing on Saturday and his career numbers against the Oilers (5-1-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average and .943 save percentage). But the coaching staff went with Crawford and it proved to be the correct decision.

Crawford stopped 27 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .964 and faced nine high-danger chances at 5-on-5, none of which found the back of the net. His lone goal against came with 2:11 left in regulation and it was on a 6-on-4 power play for the Oilers. Overall, he was fantastic.

"He looked sharp as ever," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "He was really good. He did make some saves for us. That team has some weapons so they had some opportunities and he was there and just he's under control. It's something I've said about him before, he really gives the team confidence. I thought tonight he was really good."

4. Blackhawks shut down Oilers' top guns

The first line of Leon Draisaitl, Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid went into Monday tied for the most goals scored as a trio. When the three of them are on the ice at 5-on-5, they're controlling 57.1 percent of the shot attempts, 61.2 percent of the scoring chances and 68.8 percent of the high danger chances.

The Blackhawks held them in check. That line had 14 shot attempts for and 20 against at 5-on-5 and were on the ice for 11 scoring chances. The third line of David Kampf, Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad did a terrific job of shutting them down.

"They all just got real big motors, big engine," Colliton said of the Saad-Kampf-Kubalik line. "They work and compete and they all bring a little bit different ingredient. ... Pleased with that line."

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