Sharp not worrying about trade talk

 
 
Published: 12/1/2009 10:32 PM

Patrick Sharp wants nothing more than to finish his career with the Blackhawks.

But there are no guarantees he will even finish the season in Chicago.

Sharp is one of the Hawks who sees his name mentioned in trade rumors almost on a daily basis - most of them coming out of Toronto, where the Maple Leafs would love to add another offensive weapon.

It's not as if the Hawks want to trade the 27-year-old winger, or that general manager Stan Bowman is even thinking about moving Sharp.

But with the Hawks facing serious salary-cap issues going forward into next season, Sharp with his $3.9 million cap hit is someone speculators believe is a candidate to be traded at some point.

"We see the articles and we know the situation, but right now we're focused on today and this season," Sharp said Tuesday. "Whatever is going to happen with the cap situation and player movement, we'll address that when it happens. Right now we're trying to win a Stanley Cup."

Sharp is one of the most valuable and popular Hawks, so it would need to be a heck of an offer to deal him.

"I love Chicago and I want to be here, but it's part of the game, part of professional sports," Sharp said. "Everyone looks at our team and sees the good players we have and rumors are going to start.

"This is the first time I've actually been through it and I'm trying to deal with it, but I try not to read into it too much."

Sharp had 1 goal in 12 games before facing Columbus on Tuesday, but he dished out 9 assists during that span.

"I'm not scoring as much as I'd like, but I feel like the offense is still there and that I'm producing and putting points on the board," Sharp said.

"His production has been fine," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

Mixmaster Quenneville: With top-six forwards as versatile as the group the Hawks have, you can expect Joel Quenneville to keep mixing and matching them as the season progresses.

The recipe for Tuesday was Jonathan Toews between Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp with a second line of Kris Versteeg, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien.

"With all the lines we feel there's a lot of interchangeable parts," Quenneville said. "Over the course of where we're at today, we've tried a lot different combinations and expect to try them all over time.

"Hopefully the lines we've got today are in place for a while."

Tip-in: The Hawks will wear the new third jerseys they debuted Tuesday 11 more times this season.