(CBS) The NHL Draft starts Friday evening, which means the trade rumor mill has reached its peak level as team executives position themselves to make moves.
As it pertains to the Blackhawks, no one’s garnering more attention in that regard than Patrick Sharp, the 33-year-old winger who is owed $5.9 million in 2015-’16 that Chicago needs to rid itself of while facing a salary cap crunch. As of late Friday afternoon, at least five teams had been showing serious interest in Sharp, according to the Tribune’s Chris Kuc: the Penguins, Canadiens, Rangers, Bruins and Panthers.
It appears Sharp’s exit is just a matter of time. What’s left to be determined is what Chicago can get in return for Sharp, who struggled with just 16 goals and 43 points while also missing 14 games in 2014-’15. The Blackhawks initially were asking for a first-round pick and a defenseman, according to the Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus, though that price may come down.
Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell — who is owed $4.0 million next season — is also on the trading block, but there weren’t any trade talks about him as of late Friday afternoon, Kuc tweeted.
Source says all is quiet on the Bryan Bickell trade front--for now. #Blackhawks—
Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) June 26, 2015