Sunday, July 19, 2009
The Leafs interested in Hawks Patrick Sharp
Brian Burke continues to look around the league for a potential Top 6 forward and according to media rumours has his sights now set on Black Hawks forward Patrick Sharp. The Hawks are in cap trouble and need to get under the cap before the season is underway. The Hawks recent signing of Marian Hossa plus their recent error in getting out offer sheets for their RFAs in a timely manner has cost them more of a cap hit in re-signing these players then they would have had to pay them if the offers were sent out correctly, this now has Sharp and his 3.9 million salary cap hit the odd man out. The Hawks of course will want something back that will help the team move forward in their chase for Lord Stanley. Patrick Sharp is a 27 year old from Thunder Bay, Ontario who has scored 82 goals in his past three seasons, Sharp is also an ample penalty killer something the Leafs desperately need help in. The Leafs are said to be offering the Black Hawks Alexei Poinikarovsky in return, Ponikarovsky has scored 83 goals for the Leafs in his past four seasons and although Sharp would be an improvement on the ice, Ponikarovsky's value is instrumental in assisting the development of Nicolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski as was seen towards the end of last season when the trio formed an interesting line combination. The Leafs better move would be to send Matt Stajan and possible lower round draft pick to the Hawks for Sharp. Stajan just completed his best season in the NHL with 55 points and with 1 year left on his contract at 1.75 million he would not be a long term cap hit for the Hawks and would fill the third or fourth line center role. The Maple Leafs could easily replace Stajan with John Mitchell who with increased ice time showed the fans that his back to back seasons leading the OHL's Plymouth Whalers in scoring was not a mirage. Mitchell has improved each season as a pro and the increased ice time with Stajan gone could benefit not only Mitchell but the Leafs organization. Brian Burke continues to work the phones and we should see something happen in the next couple of weeks, lets hope his next move lands the Leafs Patrick Sharp a Top 6 forward.