Burke's Sharp Moves Rebuilding Other NHL Teams

Nelson SantosCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

HELSINKI, FINLAND - OCTOBER 03:  #10 Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks in action during The Compuware/NHL Premiere Helsinki series match between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers at the Hartwall Areena on October 3, 2009 in Helsinki, Finland.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

A thought occurred to me this morning when I read that the Boston Bruins had sent Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Craig Weller, a 2010 second round pick, and the rights to prospect Alexander Fallstrom in what is mainly a salary dump move by the Bruins.

The term salary dump instantly brought to mind the issue Chicago may face with Patrick Sharp.  A terrific scorer and versatile player for the 'Hawks may be shipped away in a similar deal.

Enter Brian Burke.  Over the course of the off-season rumors swirled that the Toronto Maple Leafs were interested in Patrick Sharp.  This was during the portion of the off-season when the Leafs were still in re-building mode.

Overnight re-building turned to win-now and Phil Kessel was acquired in a deal that was a tad risky when it was executed and with every loss becomes more nightmarish.

Burked traded away two first-round picks (2010 & 2011) and a second-round pick to Boston for the sniper who is currently on the IR.

Peter Chiarelli has traded away a total of 57 goals from last season for a whack of draft picks and two prospects.  I use the term prospects loosely of course.

However the Bruins are in win-now mode, considered a cup contender at the start of year, so one has to think that at some point Mr. Chiarelli will need to replace some of the goals he's decided/been forced to trade away.

Back to Patrick Sharp.  A player who unfortunately for 'Hawks fans may fall victim to the salary cap.  Now we all know when a team is in cap trouble they usually ask for draft picks and prospects in return.  Well what team is more capable of packaging together numerous picks right now than the "Bs"?

Sharp would be more than an adequate replacement for Kessel's 36 goals from last year and would help out on the penalty kill, which Kessel did not do.  Sharp would bring with him a cap hit of $3.9M for the next couple of years—less than what Kessel was asking and only $1.57M more than Kobasew was eating up.  Chiarelli could easily make up that space to welcome Sharp.

So in essence if the Bruins do acquire Patrick Sharp they will have Brian Burke to thank.  Burke was hired to rebuild the Toronto Maple Leafs, and as it stands now he has already started the rebuilding process for the Boston Bruins. 

If Sharp were to end up in Beantown, the Blackhawks would also have their rebuilding process strengthened thanks to the boisterous Irishman.  Oddly enough these teams finished second and sixth in the NHL standings respectively last season, while Toronto was 24th.


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