By Chris Emma–
(CBS) Patrick Sharp entered the Blackhawks organization during its humble days, and he left it with three championships in six years.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rounding Out The Warmest Weekend Of The Winter
On Friday, the 33-year-old Sharp was dealt to Dallas along with 23-year-old defenseman Stephen Johns in exchange for 31-year-old defenseman Trevor Daley and 29-year-old forward Ryan Garbutt. After a decade in Chicago, Sharp’s moving on to the Stars.
“It’s been a special 10 years,” Sharp said. “Those three Stanley Cups stand out. But that chapter of my life is over.”
Sharp was moved by Chicago in order to open up cap space. His $5.9 million contract became too much for the Blackhawks to balance, given their cap crunch. Now, they’re closer to that $71.4 million hard cap number.
Discussions for a Sharp deal had been circulating ever since the offseason began, as it seemed to be a certainty that the forward would be moved. Sharp kept his focus to what his agent and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman were saying.
“It was getting annoying to a point,” Sharp said of the wait. “We just wanted to get it done.”
Finally, the deal was done on Friday night, as the Stars first revealed on Periscope. Sharp spoke with Bowman, coach Joel Quenneville and several teammates — among those, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, two Blackhawks whom he joined in 2005 — and all were emotional conversations, he said.
While Sharp kept his emotions in check — there’s a time for that down the road, he said — he’s sad to be leaving Chicago.READ MORE: MISSING: Khoshaba Dikyanos, 84, Last Seen In Lincoln Square
“That’s the toughest part, is leaving the community, leaving the organization,” Sharp said.
Dallas made the deal with the Blackhawks after two months of discussions, with general manager Tom Nill maintaining frequent contact with Bowman. A former Red Wings scout, Nill had great familiarity with Johns and wanted the standout defenseman as part of the package.
But Sharp’s the cornerstone of this trade, and his experience on championship teams is what Dallas desired.
“Want want to get to the level of Chicago,” Nill said.
In return, Chicago got two veteran players in Daley and Garbutt, restocking the roster with cap-friendly players to help steady hopes of a Stanley Cup repeat. But the Blackhawks bid farewell to Sharp.
One of the originals to the Blackhawks’ dynasty run is off to Dallas.
“I’m extremely proud of everything I accomplished the last 10 years,” Sharp said, “both on and off the ice.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Speed Cameras To Start Issuing $35 Tickets To Drivers Going 6 MPH Over The Limit On Monday
Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.