Updated: June 25, 2014 8:03PM
Patrick Sharp will not be traded for Ryan Kesler or anyone else, according to Sharp’s agent, Rick Curran, who said he received multiple assurances from Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman that the star winger isn’t going anywhere.
A Sportsnet report earlier this week said Sharp was on the block, kicking the Internet rumor mill into overdrive.
“There’s no truth to any rumor that Patrick Sharp is available to trade,” Curran told the Sun-Times. “He absolutely is not available. I had a meeting with Stan Bowman a week ago to ask him what was going to happen. He said, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you that Patrick Sharp is not available right now.’ When the Sportsnet guy, Nick Kypreos, erroneously made a statement and everyone went crazy, I called Stan again. I asked, ‘Has anything changed?’ He said, ‘absolutely not.’ He’s full of [expletive].”
The Hawks are in the market for a second-line center to play alongside Patrick Kane, and Vancouver’s Kesler is a target, as is Colorado free agent Paul Stastny and possibly Ottawa’s Jason Spezza. And with the NHL draft — the busiest dealing day of the hockey calendar as all 30 GMs are in the same building together — Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia, speculation has reached a fever pitch.
The Hawks are right up against the salary cap and would have to free up some money to make such a move. Kesler has two years left on his contract, which is worth $5 million per season. Spezza has one year left on his deal, worth $7 million. And in a weak free-agent class, Stastny could command a significant raise from his previous salary of $6.6 million. Sharp has three seasons left on his current deal at $5.9 million per season.
Kesler turns 30 in August, while Sharp turns 33 in December. But Sharp is coming off a career season in which he had 34 goals and 44 assists.
A source told the Sun-Times that Vancouver’s initial asking price included either Brandon Saad or Teuvo Teravainen, but it’s highly unlikely the Hawks would be willing to part with either. The Anaheim Ducks are also in the Kesler hunt, but Kesler has a no-movement clause in his contract (as does Sharp) and reportedly wants to go to either Chicago or Pittsburgh. An established star and a non-Teravainen prospect could still be enough for the Hawks to land him.
But Curran was adamant that Sharp is not part of the discussions.
“Stan Bowman said he’s the last guy that would be traded,” Curran said. “As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing’s a fabrication from a puke out of Toronto trying to make headlines, an absolutely, completely irresponsible report, based on absolutely nothing other than his own whim or fancy.”