There's been a fair amount of speculation regarding Patrick Sharp's future. We won't bother discussing the unsubstantiated locker room problems that some have claimed are plaguing Chicago at the moment, but we will take a look at whether or not the talented forward would be a good fit for the Canadiens.
It's true that Marc Bergevin has been spotted in Chicago a few times very recently, and we all know that he was given his front office debut by the team, but would Patrick Sharp be a realistic target at the trade deadline?
The Habs only have $1.4M in cap space currently, which means they'd have to move some salary to accommodate Sharp's $5.9M cap hit. The 33-year-old has two years left on his deal after this season.
The Hawks are not in a rush to move him either, especially after the recent injury to Patrick Kane. If the price isn't right, they're likely to hold onto the forward until the summer.
There's no doubt about it, Patrick Sharp is a top tier forward. He's having a bit of a weak season in terms of production, which is primarily due to a career low shooting percentage, at 5.6%. He's more comfortable on the left wing, although he has seen a decent amount of ice time this season on the right wing, on a line with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell.
This is where it gets complicated. The Habs would have to move roughly $4.5M worth of cap hit to make room for Sharp. I reached out to two of the best Blackhawks bloggers in the business @RegressedPDO & @SatchelPrice, to get their opinions on a possible trade scenario.
They both suggested that the Hawks were not in a rush to move Sharp, and that they're likely to be more interested in younger players that could contribute immediately. There was a strong push towards acquiring a defenseman, however this was prior to the Kane injury.
When you look up and down Montreal's roster, there's only one player who fits that billing, and would free up enough money to make the trade feasible; Lars Eller. The Habs would likely have to add a sweetener to the deal, whether it be a top tier prospect (Charles Hudon) or a quality draft pick.
Is it worth it?
As per usual, we'll leave that up to the community to decide, but Sharp does seem to be the type of player that Bergevin is looking to acquire, given that he would not simply be a trade deadline rental. On the downside, Sharp's cap hit could possibly handcuff the Canadiens GM moving forward.