Chicago Blackhawks fans had something to celebrate on July 1 when the Hawks signed 3-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Sharp. With the additional arrival of Brandon Saad, Hawks fans feel more optimistic than ever to bring the Cup back to Chicago after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row. However, there is much more than meets the eye to the fan favorite player Hawks fans have known and loved for over a decade. Here are five must-know facts about Patrick Sharp.
1. Family First
Sharp and his wife Abby have two daughters; five-year-old Madelyn and three-year-old Sadie. During free agency, his wife and two daughters played a big role in his choice to sign with the Hawks saying,“the family is thrilled to be coming back home.” Known for being a family man, he kept up that reputation by signing where his family wanted for less money than another team could have offered.
Sharp also cites his parents as big supporters in his career. His father’s diagnosis with leukemia inspired him to help others fighting the disease through a charity called Leukemia Texas. Sharp’s philanthropic efforts can be seen on his Twitter page.
2. Perfect Season
2013 was a great year for the Blackhawks that began with 24 games without a loss in regulation and ended in a Stanley Cup victory. The regular season was also a perfect season for Sharp as he stated at the “Sweet Home Chicago Panel” at the 2017 Blackhawks Convention: “You know who was undefeated that year? Sharp was. (I) started the season the first 24 games, we won every single game. I got hurt in game 24, I came back and played two games, we won both so we’re 26-0. I sat out the next two weeks to rest the shoulder for playoffs, played the last two regular season games, 28-0.” That year he tallied 6 goals and 14 assists which are impressive for a shortened season.
3. Sweet Home Chicago
Sharp had many offers during free agency but ultimately chose to go with the Hawks because it felt like home. His wife was thrilled when he signed with the Hawks as he told NHL.com, “Stan (Bowman) got in touch. That was the end of it. I could have made more money elsewhere, but when I found out the Blackhawks were interested, that’s all that mattered. I was in Connecticut. I took the call, then went outside with my phone. My wife, Abby, followed me. While I was talking with Stan, she was beside me, jumping up and down, saying, “Sign it! Sign it!” Chicago fans seem to return the favor and granted Sharp with a standing ovation when he arrived at the 2017 Blackhawks Convention.
4. Stronger than Ever
Despite being 35 and having a string of injuries in the 2016-17 season with the Dallas Stars, Sharp feels on top of his game. He told WGN Radio:
“I feel good, I feel healthy. It was a crappy year last year for a lot of different reasons. For me, individually, for the team in Dallas, we had high expectations to try to build off of my first year there. For whatever reason, it just didn’t work out. It was a rough season, throw in a couple of injuries on top of that. I finally got this hip cleaned up which I have been meaning to do for a few seasons now. It’s about a four to six month rehab. I just saw Dr. Terry this past week for my 4 month checkup and I’m good to go. I’m feeling healthy and as strong as ever, so I can’t wait to get back.”
With Sharp back at his best, he can be a valuable asset in the Hawks quest to win the 2018 Stanley Cup.
Sharp’s current contract is much less than it was prior to his trade to the Stars with a cap hit of $800,000. The contract lasts for a year and Sharp hopes to bring the Stanley Cup back to Chicago in the 2017-18 season. With his health back as well as the Hawks being closer to the team back to what they were in the 2014-15 season, he may very well achieve his goal.