Of course, the news is a bit disruptive considering Chicago just held its rally for a third Stanley Cup in six years. However, the thought of Sharp being a candidate for a trade is not a new one.
The Arizona Coyotes are realistically in one of the most enviable positions in the upcoming NHL Draft, holding the No. 3 overall pick, picks 30 and 32, all with substantial salary flexibility. And considering the Chicago Blackhawks lost its first round pick for acquiring Antoine Vermette from Arizona, an attempt to acquire (or reacquire) some draft assets would surely be attractive for Chicago.
Sharp, who will turn 34 next December, is on the books for a $5.9 million cap hit next season. The Blackhawks are already on thin ice with the cap, as both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are set to receive big pay days in 2015-16.
The Coyotes are in much different financial position than the Blackhawks, and would have no problem taking on the veteran left winger. But is Sharp the right fit for this team?
Taking a glance at the left wingers on the team's depth chart, it certainly appears so. The group of Mikkel Boedker, Craig Cunningham, Tye McGinn and Lauri Korpikoski could certainly use an experienced player to take a top line spot. On top of that, Boedker is a restricted free agent and not guaranteed to be on the roster next season, though Don Maloney will likely do everything in his power to re-sign him.
Anthony Duclair could also claim a left wing spot in 2015-16, but the Coyotes would certainly prefer to not thrust him into a top line role this early in his development.
Sharp didn't have the greatest season en route to winning his third Cup, but as our friends at Second City Hockey pointed out, the analytics show that his decline can be more attributed to a change in role than anything.
But what would the Coyotes have to give up in order to acquire Sharp?
This likely depends on how desperate Chicago is to shed his cap hit. There's almost zero chance Coyotes general manager Don Maloney will part ways with the third pick, but would giving the Blackhawks its original draft choice in return more of a likely scenario?
Sharp has an impressive pedigree. He scored 78 points in 2013-14, and 511 points over 10 regular seasons. Most importantly, he has recorded 80 points in 117 playoff games. And, as we mentioned, three Stanley Cup rings.
One would think that Sharp could play on a top line pairing of Sharp, Martin Hanzal and Shane Doan—which would allow Boedker to slide down and play with either Mark Arcobello or Max Domi on the second line. It would also let Duclair prospectively play on the third line for a time with Kyle Chipchura (or Dylan Strome?) and Sam Gagner.
We know the Coyotes are entertaining trade talks leading up to next week's draft, but what sort of moves will the team make? This one seems to benefit the team quite a bit, but what would Maloney and Co. be willing to send to the Stanley Cup champions in return?