With the Chicago Blackhawks‘ need for a second-line center unceremoniously exposed by the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final, Patrick Sharp‘s name has apparently been tossed into the mix as potential trade bait for Ryan Kesler and Joe Thornton.
The Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks are looking to get younger and thus wouldn’t be seriously interested in acquiring Sharp, but that’s not really the point. More important than the likelihood of any trade is the question of why Sharp is being shopped around at all.
Chicago’s No. 10 is coming off a fantastic regular season in which he led the team in scoring with a career-high 78 points. Sharp played in all 82 games for the first time since the 2009-10 season and his skating — one of his best assets — looked as good as it ever has. At the end of the season, Sharp ranked 12th overall in NHL scoring and looked primed to continue his past success in the playoffs.
Of course, that didn’t happen; the 2013-14 postseason turned out to be the worst of Sharp’s career by far, and it has the ridiculously fickle sports world thinking he’s on the decline and should be shipped out of town for someone else. Trading Sharp for the vastly overrated Kesler would be a lateral move at best and more likely a talent downgrade, but this hasn’t stopped fans and media alike from proposing the swap.
That people in the sports world place far too much value on the recent past when predicting the future isn’t exactly a shocking development. What is shocking, however, is just how narrow the scope of “recent past” really is. Sharp’s unbelievable regular season has essentially been ignored completely while his bad playoff run — which was probably attributable to an injury — has been magnified several times over.
It’s time to take a step back, regain some perspective and realize that Sharp should not call anywhere but the United Center his home arena for the foreseeable future.