Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp out for a Month with Injury

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IJanuary 9, 2012

Patrick Sharp's goal Sunday night might be his last for a while following impending news of a wrist injury.
Patrick Sharp's goal Sunday night might be his last for a while following impending news of a wrist injury.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks will be saddled with the absence of Patrick Sharp from the lineup for a sizable chunk of time.

Try about a month.

Head coach Joel Quenneville announced to the media at an optional team practice Monday that Sharp will miss three to four weeks with an upper body injury. A quick look at the team roster on the Blackhawks website indicates that Sharp is being placed on the injured list.

Chris Kuc of the Chicago Sun-Times reports on the announcement here.

Sharp, who played the first period in Chicago's 3-2 overtime loss to Detroit, was slashed twice by Jiri Hudler right before he potted his 20th goal of the season.

Sharp did not come out to the bench following the first intermission.

The area of concern seems to be Sharp's left wrist. Jesse Rodgers of tweeted that Ben Smith may soon be recalled. The injury bug, which has Daniel Carcillo and Marcus Kruger out of the lineup indefinitely, now may have taken a big bite of one of Chicago's top players.

Sharp is second on the team in goals and his 40 points is good for third on the team in scoring. He's been one of the Big Four—along with Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane—who have paced the 'Hawks offense this season.

Now, Kane is scuffling and Sharp will be missing a dozen games or so. Does this change the thinking up in the front office?

Probably. Ben Smith is reportedly on his way up from Rockford. Even at his best, Smith will not be able to replace what Sharp adds to the lineup. Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw could also see more minutes in the short term.

Long term? It might be just the right time to dip into Chicago's cap reserve and move up the timetable on obtaining a top-six forward.