Mar 30, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) handles the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen (2) defends during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Sharp An Option For Pittsburgh Penguins?

The latest rumor running rampant throughout the media is Patrick Sharp is on the trading block.

Sharp’s cap number for the upcoming season is $5.9 million – per Cap Geek - and he might be a luxury the Chicago Blackhawks can no longer afford. Given his high cap number, you would expect Sharp to be one heck of a player, and he is. This last season, he had a career-high in assists (44) and points (78) while scoring 34 goals – according to Hockey-Reference.

Some people will argue that his statistics are inflated, due to playing alongside superstars like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. While this may be partially true, Sharp would be coming to an equally talented core of players in Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin. The difference is that the Penguins truly need a player like Sharp to join their top-six, while the ‘Hawks could still thrive without Sharp in their lineup.

January 16, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin (7) and right wing Pascal Dupuis (center) and right wing Beau Bennett (19) battle for control of the puck during the second period of the Penguins intrasquad scrimmage at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Despite what Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has publicly stated, I think the Penguins still need a top-six forward. According to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Rutherford does not even think bringing in Malkin’s close friend, Nikolai Kulemin, would help their top-six.

The Penguins are currently in terrible situation salary cap wise, and right now could not afford to bring in Sharp. However, if the Penguins were to trade a player like Paul Martin, who has one year left on his contract with a cap hit of $5 million – per Cap Geek - they could more than easily trade for Sharp or a similar talent.

My biggest areas of concern is the Penguins are depending on a brittle player in Beau Bennett and an aging wing in Pascal Dupuis, who is recovering from a major injury to be the dominant top-six they need.

Personally, I do not believe that the Penguins’ top-six forwards is that of a Stanley Cup contending team, and unless Rutherford makes more moves,  it might be another heartbreaking season for them.

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  • Scott

    I would love to add Sharp but I think the terrible cap space Shero left us in makes this virtually impossible. I hate to trade Martin as the blue line is shaky with the injury situation but if they could move Martin and then get Sharp I’m all for it. What would Chicago be looking for in return?

  • Will

    Letang should’ve been moved. Maybe they tried and nobody wanted him but its to late now. All these 1 year deals are a good sign of things to come.

  • Matthew Rizzo

    While I agree wholeheartedly that the Pens NEED a top 6 winger (Duh), I wouldn’t hold your breath. Sharp is a fantastic player, for sure, but between GMJR stating they don’t “need” one, and the salary cap – it’s not going to happen. At least, not at the beginning of the season.

    IMO, look for a Paul Martin trade at the deadline this year if the D looks stable (IE, Letang plays well, Scuds learns not to be a pylon). But with the loss of Orpik and Nisky, it’s time for guys like Despres to show their stuff – and I believe they can, and will, be given the opportunity this year.

    The Pens are contenders, maybe even the strongest contenders in the east. The Bruins got picked apart. Caps are a joke. Rangers lost talent and got Dan Boyle instead (???). But the West is WAY too strong – look at the Blues, Hawks, Avs, Kings, Sharks, Ducks – each team is STACKED and will murder any eastern conference team in the cup.

  • bern1417

    While Sharp in a Pens sweater would be great it’s not totally necessary in reality.. For one not only is his cap hit too much but he’s also about to turn 33 during the 2014-15 season.. The Pens are trying to get somewhat younger and Sharp doesn’t really fit that mold.. Especially with Kunitz turning 35 in Sept and Dupuis turning 36 at seasons end.. Ray Shero for all the glory he got from the bonehead fans really screwed this organization with some horrendous lengths to a few contracts. Mainly Kunitz, Dupuis, and Scuderi. Complain all you want about Letang’s contract but when Niskanen and Orpik are getting over $5 million Letang at $7.2 for 8 years is pretty good.. The fact that Kunitz and Dupuis are here for another 3 seasons better open up someones eyes bc NO way should either of them finish their contracts here. Unless both find their way to the 3rd line at some point rather quick, bc Kunitz – I’m not sure if the Olympics played a role- died at the end of the year and Dupuis’ Knee might become an issue. Coincidentally Scuderi who turns 36 in Dec has his contract expire after the 2017 season along with