Before the 2010 NHL season started, Patrick Sharp wasn’t listed among the Chicago Blackhawks on the All-Star ballot. When the All-Star game concluded on Sunday, Sharp was named the game’s MVP.

“I guess I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered by it,” Sharp said of the ballot snub. “But it was individual motivation to play well this year and I can’t argue with it. The Blackhawks have a ton of big names and great players and a lot of guys that deserve to be here.”

But Sharp, perhaps more than any other player on the Blackhawks’ roster deserved to be at the All-Star game. He’s leading the team in goals with 26, which also puts him 5th in the entire NHL. And his 46 points (26 G, 20 A) are also good for the team lead.

Sharp has already eclipsed his goal total from a season ago and is only 10 goals away from his career high.

And following an offseason that saw a lot of offensive production be forced out of the organization due to a salary cap crunch, Sharp is doing everything in his power to pick up what the Blackhawks lost and prove that he’s a player the team was smart to hold on to. Sharp was the topic of plenty of trade rumors over the course of last season and the offseason. But holding on to the 29-year old center has paid off in a big way for the Blackhawks.

He may not have started the season as a household name across the league, but after Sunday’s All-Star game performance and the season he’s having, Sharp is proving that he belongs in that category.

“I’m proud to be a Blackhawk in the All-Star game,” Sharp said, “and things worked out.”

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