By: Adam Gretz
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp could miss the next three-to-four weeks of training camp and the exhibition season after undergoing an emergency (and successful) appendectomy on Monday evening, the team announced.
Sharp, 29, signed a brand new five-year, $29.5 million contract extension earlier this summer and is one of the Blackhawks' top offensive weapons, and has been since joining the team early in the 2005-06 season following a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers that saw the Blackhawks give up Matt Ellison and a third-round pick. To say the trade has worked out well for the Blackhawks is an understatement.
He's scored at least 20 goals in each of the past five seasons, including a team-leading 34 last season in 74 games, and has scored 150 goals as a member of the Blackhawks. He scored a career-high 36 during the 2007-08 season and was a point-per-game player in the playoffs during the 2009-10 postseason when Chicago ended its Stanley Cup drought.
The Blackhawks will open their season on Oct. 7 in Dallas, before returning home to Chicago the following night for a re-match with the Stars. They will then have four days off before playing host to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday Oct. 13.
Assuming Sharp is out for the full four weeks his status for the first two games would seem to be uncertain at this point.