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Maybe we should be expecting Patrick Sharp to join the Flames

Even with all of the moves the Flames have made as of late – and there have been a lot of them – they still have the potential to make more. They’re not up against the cap yet. Their roster isn’t full up yet. They have the space to make another addition, and while it looks like Calgary is ready to go full throttle in the pursuit for a Stanley Cup, why not?

Based on a lot of chatter that’s been floating around the past little bit, we should probably start seriously speculating about the Flames signing Patrick Sharp.

Sharp as of late

Originally drafted in 2001 by the Flyers, Sharp is best known for his time in Chicago. And why wouldn’t he be? He played for them for 10 years, winning three Stanley Cups along the way. (He would also, thereby, be familiar with a number of current Flames: Troy Brouwer, Michael Frolik, and Kris Versteeg.)

Sharp, over 869 games, has scored 277 goals and 599 points. His career high was 78 back in the 2013-14 season, and he has topped 60 points in five different seasons over the years.

However, Sharp is coming off of an injury-plagued 2016-17 in which he scored just eight goals and 18 points over 48 games. He suffered a concussion at the start of the season that kept him sidelined for much of the first half, and his year ended when he underwent hip surgery back in March. He’s also now 35 years old, so there’s a fair bit of mileage on him; if he were to sign with the Flames, he would become their oldest player, beating out Mike Smith by a couple of months.

However however, there’s good reason to believe Sharp will rebound, particularly if he isn’t playing through injury anymore has a full recovery from surgery. In 2015-16, he scored 20 goals and 55 points with the Dallas Stars.

Offensive potential

Here’s one of our favourite stats to look at when determining if a player’s scoring numbers are inflated or not: in 2016-17, he shot at 5.5%, the worst shooting percentage of his career.

Season Goals per game Shots per game SH%
2015-16 .263 2.974 8.8
2016-17 .167 3.042 5.5

There’s no reason to think Sharp has irreversibly fallen off a cliff when it comes to his scoring. An 82-game season in 2015-16 sees him prorated to 22 goals. If he’d shot at the same rate in 2016-17, then he would have been on pace for 22 goals. If he’d shot at his career average – 10.8% – then he’d have been on pace for a 27-goal season. Sharp is still, in all likelihood, a good player who will drive offence and contribute to putting the puck in the net – it’s just that everything that could have gone wrong for him did in 2016-17.

And when Sharp was healthy, he wasn’t spending time with the Dallas Stars’ big guns. This past season, he primarily played with Devin Shore and Radek Faksa – two 33-point players. The Flames might have a little more to offer.

Where would Sharp fit in?

Over the past two seasons, Sharp averaged 16:58 in ice time, which would firmly place him among the Flames’ top six. That wouldn’t necessarily make Sharp a top six player, though, but he would almost certainly play in the top nine.

A right-shooting left winger, there could be a number of spots open for Sharp, depending on how the rest of the lineup shakes out. Could he play alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau? What about joining Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik? Or perhaps he would really help out Sam Bennett by giving him a linemate capable of scoring? Considering Sharp’s pedigree and what he should still very well be able to do on the ice, there isn’t really a wrong answer – he could fit in well with any one of those players, and go a long way towards solidifying the Flames’ top nine.

Via OwnThePuck:

According to Puckalytics, Sharp was a 50.7% 5v5 CF player in 2016-17 (0.79% relative to the rest of the Stars, so an average corsi player on an average corsi team). Aggregating for this two seasons with the Stars, he was a 52.72% CF player – +1.20% relative – and he was not sheltered by way of zone starts.

In short, Sharp should still be a very capable forward, both when it comes to scoring and driving the play north. If he can recover completely, then it will be all the better.

What would he sign for?

Sharp is 35 years old, and coming off of a five-year, $29.5 million deal. Over the course of his NHL career, he’s made about $47.1 million. He’s made his money, he’s won his Cups – what’s left?

Well, probably to win some more before he retires, which may not be too far off in the distance. In that case, there is a chance Sharp could be willing to forego some salary – but probably not a lot – for some legitimate shots at winning again before his time is up.

That makes Calgary a team of interest. You look at things at face value, and the Flames are a team that was just swept out of the first round. You look a little deeper, and you see they’ve grown a lot over the past couple of seasons. That’s to say nothing of all of these moves that have come over the past week and change that seem to have the Flames declaring themselves a team that’s ready to win right now. That, plus the linemates the Flames can offer, could see Sharp gravitating towards Calgary.

Sharp would be subject to a 35+ contract, meaning he probably won’t be signing for term. But if the Flames’ window is now – and they have basically declared it as such – then term doesn’t matter when it comes to trying to win right now.

The Flames have just under $10 million left in cap space with restricted free agents to re-sign and a couple of holes to fill. They should have just enough left over to afford Sharp, too.

UPDATE: While the rumours of Sharp to Calgary were strong and numerous for some time, it appears he is headed back to Chicago on a cheap deal – one that probably only the Blackhawks would be able to get him to.

So, it was a fun couple of hours!

  • Atomic Clown

    Honestly, out of all the FA, Sharp is the most intriguing for me. He’s a proven winner (3 cups) can drive his own line, as he did in Philly, Chicago and Dallas, and a pretty good fit with the flames. He’ll be reunited as stated above, with 3 former cup winning teammates.

  • The GREAT WW

    How many games are we going to give GG before pulling the plug?
    If we are all-in, then a poor start is not acceptable.
    20 games?
    30 games?
    Half the season?

    WW

    • Skylardog

      What do they have to go in the first 13 games for you to be happy WW. And when I say happy, I mean for the Flames to Keep GG. That may not be your definition of happy.

      What is the record in the first 13 for GG to stay.

      I have said 7&6. That was before BT went crazy, For all of you and all that has been done, is 7&6 a good start or disappointing?

    • Rockmorton65

      Sorry to burst your bubble there, Wally. GG got them to the playoffs in his first year as a head coach. You’re going to have to complain for at least two more seasons (of missing the playoffs, that is) before we even have the conversation of letting him go. Changing coaches now would, literally, be the dumbest thing the Flames could do right now.

    • TurkeyLips

      Poor starts are Flames tradition, long before Gultz.
      If the plug is pulled on Gultz, it’s also being pulled on Tre.
      That’s a cyclone bathtub drain we’d all be better off avoiding.

    • freethe flames

      If it’s between Sharp and Williams I would take Williams. Sharp’s injury really scares me. Again 1 year at a time with these guys. If they want 2 years it had better be rather cheap. If we sign nobody as a FA forward we could look something like this and be able to play 4 lines:
      Johnny/Monny/Ferland(Foo); lot’s of Ozone starts #1 pp
      Janko/Backs/Frolik; dzone PK push possession
      Tkachuk/Bennett/Versteeg(Lazar)
      (Lomberg/Shinkruk/Klimchuk/Mangiapane)/Stajan(Lazar)/Hathaway(Foo/ Brouwer/Hamilton)

      • everton fc

        Williams has more mileage left. I totally agree. 2 year deal, and he’ll still be putting up the same points as he is now.

        As for line combos, here’s what I see when we find a team for Brouwer!

        Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland; Tkachuk-Backlund-Frolik; Bennett-Jankowski-Versteeg; Stajan-Lazar-Hathaway (Freddie)

  • Newbietwo

    Something different.. Kenny Agostina is about to sign with either Bruins or Philly to join the NHL.. AHL scoring leader last year which makes us walking him kinda odd last year?

    • supra steve

      A real player in the A, not so much in the NHL. Only 7 NHL games with the Blues last season. I wish him luck, but not convinced letting him go was a bad decision…if it was, the Blues are making the same mistake.

  • sunnyh

    Knowing Tre and what he’s done so far, maybe Vrbata might be the most probable UFA signing? Williams is most likely out due to preferring to stay in the east, and Sharp’s age and injury history might scare Tre off. Familiarity from Arizona, decent numbers last season, and GG having coached him in Vancouver, Vrbata seems like a huge possibility no?

  • Puckhead

    Reduce the risk and stick with either Tkachuk or Ferland. Young, cheap and high energy skilled players that can score and can agitate the opposition. No to old, soft, players with no bite.

  • smatic10

    If we can choose between the two, I would say Williams over Sharp. Williams is such a smart player that competes hard every night and he’s been injured far less.

    • smatic10

      But yea it seems like Williams wants to stay east and Calgary is a destination Sharp would like to go to. So Tree, if you’re going to sign Sharp, it better not be for a large term or cap. Don’t ruin your solid offseason.

  • BendingCorners

    I think the lineup looks pretty good the way it is. BT has a little wiggle room in the cap but not much. Curtis/Sam/Micheal might be 5.5 and Brett might be 1.0. If Hunter and Mark come up that’s 1.8 more. Even if BT sends Freddie down to make room he only has 2.2 to play with. That looks more like a safety margin that a price for a top 6 RW, unless he also moves somebody.
    Saving the space till February and picking somebody up at the trade deadline might be a better move.
    Or maybe wait till September and see who is still hungry.
    Nine contracts to sign and Mike B’s extension to work on is already enough to keep BT busy.

  • Styxx

    Forget about the regular season …to get through the playoffs we need to get through Getz/Kesler/Manson and/or McDavid/Draisaitl/Lucic. Forward group does not have the resilience and determination to break through. If Treliving shares this assessment then look for Brian Boyle to bring his nastiness here.

    However if Tre believes we need more scoring then my bet is on adding Mr. Aneroid Saskatchewan’s hometown hero on a hometown discount. Patrick Marleau would add not only scoring but also speed & skill. Gotta think …Marleau with Johnny & Mony would be pretty nice..

    • Skylardog

      As much as we need toughness, the key to beating Anaheim is a 3 lines that can score. Monys line in tough against Getzlaffs, Backlunds matches Keslers. The key is the third line. Bennett-Tkachuk-Lazar (or Foo), must outmatch the third lines of Edmonton and Anaheim. 5on5 we got slaughtered in the Anaheim series.

  • Skylardog

    Ari – you say we have cap room available – How much?

    I have us very tight (less than $1.0 available after the 4 RFAs) , but you may know more on what the RFAs will sign for.

    • Ari Yanover

      Assuming Bennett/Ferland/Lazar/Kulak all on the roster next season, I think they can collectively be had for under $7 million, and that’s me estimating on the high end of things (with only an inkling on what one of those guys wants). It’ll be tight but doable. Plus last year I thought there was no way to fit Brouwer under the cap and apparently was wrong there…

      • Skylardog

        I have the four of them right at $7.0. Filling in 14 forwards, 7 Dmen, 2 goalies, I am at $621,000 left. I am using 3 forward, 2 D, and 0 goalie prospects.

        Unless capfriendly is miscalculating something we are basically out of cap space. I do believe there is a chance I am high on a couple of these guys, but have pencilled in what seems as a possible max for all. Even if we save half a million on a couple, we are still less than $2.0 in space. Lazar can’t be had for much less than $1.0, which I used.

    • Lucky 13

      I just read that we have somewhere in the vicinity of 3M left to spend , that’s with buyout costs, bonus overages and a healthy bit not overpriced RFA signings.

      Word out there is GG is looking for bottom 6 RW forward who’s good at face offs, not necessarily a centre …

      Unless we are making a trade I don’t expect much to happen right now, but of course I’ve been wrong before …

      • Skylardog

        I ran his numbers.
        He basically min signs all but Ferland and Bennett. We disagree only by $10,000 on those 2 as to what it will take to sign.

        I changed to min sign the others. Frees up some space.

        He uses F Hamilton and Hathaway up front, and keeps Bart up on D.

        We all would agree that it is important for some prospects to make the roster. I used Janko and Foo, but left Bart in, Andersson out. I filled in 13 forwards, 7 D and 2 goalies. I show $2.3 left.

        F Hamilton and Hathaway and $3.0, or Janko and Foo and $2.2 available. Andersson up will cost another $150,000. Tight, but I guess we have room for a bottom 6 forward tomorrow. However it will likely push another prospect out, either Foo or Janko. If we were getting a top 6 I could live with that, but to push a prospect out for a bottom 6?

        • OYYC

          The last thing this team needs is an over-the-hill veteran clogging up another roster spot…see Troy Brouwer. There is a possibility that Bennett digs his heels in and wants 3.5M in his next contract, or Ferland wants more than anyone is pencilling him in for.

          Just let the team be, it is fine the way it is in my opinion given the circumstances. Barring getting rid of Brouwer’s contract somehow he’ll be playing.

  • Just.Visiting

    Please do not pick up the phone tomorrow, Brad. One has to assume that the vision is to have Lazar take one of the spots on the fourth line. As things currently stand and in the absence of moving out Brouwer or a trade, there is room for one starting F from among Janko, Foo, Shink, Mange, Poirier, Lomberg. Perhaps mitigate downside by bringing in a veteran on a PTO, although you have to think that one of the Stockton forwards is ready. Either start Ferland with Monahan and JG or try Tkachuk there (and Ferland with Bennett) and put Janko out with the Ms where he would be most likely to build on his strengths and optimize his development.

    • OYYC

      The team line when they picked up Lazar was patience, rebuilding his confidence, and putting him into a situation where he could succeed. The last thing the kid needs is to be anywhere near Brouwer on the 4th line.

      Tkachuk – Bennett – Lazar works well, and gives Bennett better wingers.

      Play Ferland on the top line with Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. Ferland is the perfect protector for Gaudreau when things get real chippy.

  • jakethesnail

    Treleving should sign someone before he makes another trade , depleting the team of any future picks in the foreseeable future.
    He traded the future for players that are either over the hill or had terrible seasons last year. Hoping big for bounce back years from these players. Paying Dmen 3.5 million to play 5-6 just isn’t that smart.

  • OYYC

    Jeremy Thompson 8×13‏
    @Jthompson2380

    You know what’s scary, New Jersey Devils have the pics and Cap space to offer sheet Draisaitl and reunite him with Taylor Hall.

    ^As seen on Twitter. * Plus the Devils were told to chop payroll by $10M this week. If Jersey submits an offer sheet of $9,814,935 minus $1 that bypasses the four 1st round picks top compensation. It becomes two 1st round picks, a 2nd, and a 3rd. Actually, Montreal could do the same thing. Interesting times…

    • Skylardog

      We could see Ferland get offer sheeted tomorrow. I doubt it will happen, but the Flames look like they are building and someone may want to put a knife in the plans.

      A Draisaitl offer sheet could screw the Oilers for years. Not like Edmonton hasn’t done that to teams themselves. Karma.

        • jakethesnail

          Also all I’ve been hearing for the last year is that Draisaitl was only successful because of McDavid but now you all say Draisaitl is gonna get $10m/year!!
          Make up your mind. You seem to contradict yourselves.

          • Puckhead

            Oiler fans like you have been sticking it to us since you won the lottery. What could happen up there with the payroll situation seems like sweet karma and it’s kinda entertaining in a sick and twisted way.

          • Skylardog

            I hadn’t thought of San Jose screwing with Edmonton, but with Thornton and Marleau leaving they could do it. The real art to this would be an offer that is big enough to mess up Edmonton, but not big enough the let him walk. Edmonton is talking signing him for about $8. Would $9.5 cause some havoc?

  • jakethesnail

    Actually the last offer sheet I remember is Calgary offer sheeting Ryan O’Rielly. If anyone gets offer sheeted it could be a guy like Bennett or Ferland.