On July 10, 2015 Patrick Sharp was another one of the Blackhawks’ salary-cap casualties. Now he’s the latest former player brought back into the fold.
Sharp’s return became official on Saturday morning, as the NHL free agency period began. He signs a one-year deal for a reported $1 million (per Bob McKenzie, $800,000 base salary and $200,000 in bonuses), a sizeable pay cut from the $5 million he earned last season.
It’s another instance in which the Blackhawks are bringing back a player who was a big part of their Stanley Cup-winning years. Brandon Saad was reacquired last week from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Brian Campbell (offseason) and Johnny Oduya (trade deadline) were back last season.
Sharp is coming off a tough season with the Dallas Stars, especially with injuries. A concussion he sustained early last season sidelined him twice, and a hip injury prevented him from being a potential trade target last February. Sharp underwent hip surgery in March; the expected recovery time was 4-5 months.
Money-wise, the deal is a friendly one for a team with little to spend. The Blackhawks began Saturday nearly $3 million over the $75 million salary cap set for the 2017-18 season. A team can go 10 percent over the cap during the summer but has to be at or under the cap the day the season starts.