Sharp (hip) has been skating with teammates and expects to be ready for the start of training camp Saturday, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The veteran winger returned to Chicago during the offseason after undergoing hip surgery in late March. A timetable for Sharp's recovery was never announced, so this news should come as reassurance for Blackhawks fans who are hoping to see the old "Sharpy" take to the United Center ice in 2017-18. Despite the fact that he'll be turning 36 in December, it's not unreasonable to expect a 20-goal, 40-point output from Sharp now that he's returned to a familiar setting and will slide in to a familiar power-play setup.
According to CapFriendly, Sharp's contract will include $200,000 in performance bonuses if he reaches a certain amount of games played; considering that the veteran is recovering from hip surgery, that seems like a wise move for the cash-strapped Blackhawks. He can return the favor of returning to Chi-Town -- where he claimed three Stanley Cups -- by turning up numbers much closer to his debut season with the Stars -- 55 points in 2015-16 -- than his scant output of 18 points in 48 games last year.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has an affinity for bringing back key players from the glory days -- for example, he's given defensemen Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya, and now forward Brandon Saad, return tickets to the Windy City -- but it's hard to blame the guy for wanting a three-time Stanley Cup winner in Sharp back in tow. Sharp played for the Stars the past two seasons, and his debut campaign was strong at 55 points in 76 games, though he fell all the way to 18 points with a minus-22 rating in 2016-17; his most recent campaign was marred by two concussions and a bum hip that required surgery and ended his season in late March. Still, a return to Chicago -- even at a discount -- seems like the best possible setting for Sharp and his quest for a performance rebound. As a result, we wouldn't disregard him in fantasy drafts this fall.
Sharp played in just 48 games this year after suffering a pair of concussions and then undergoing season-ending hip surgery in March. While the winger did manage eight goals and 10 helpers, he also registered a minus-22 rating and saw the lowest average ice time of his career (15:57). The Golden Knights might not be the only club concerned about the veteran's injury history as he appears set to hit free agency on July 1.
Sharp will undergo season-ending hip surgery Tuesday, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
The 2016-17 campaign was anything but friendly to the veteran winger, as he experienced two concussions, trouble with his hip, and one heck of a time keeping up defensively on the way to a career-low minus-22 rating over 47 games. Unfortunately -- if that wasn't enough -- his father is also said to be receiving treatment for Leukemia. It was reported March 1 that Sharp would delay his surgery until after the season, but he evidently wanted to keep going despite the Stars having next to no shot at the playoffs. All is not lost, however, as Sharp reportedly has been nominated for the Masterton Trophy, with that coveted piece of hardware going to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.