USATSI_8631298_154158418_lowresThe Chicago Blackhawks have traded Patrick Sharp to the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenceman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. Prospect Stephen Johns was also sent to Dallas in the move.

Sharp won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, but Chicago was up against the cap and needed to create space. With two years remaining on a contract carrying an average annual value of $5.9 million, it was clear something had to be done.

And the Blackhawks have had to make off-season moves to protect the nucleus of the team, what with Brandon Saad traded to Columbus and Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette lost to free agency.

“On behalf of the entire Blackhawks organization, I’d like to thank Patrick for all that he helped our franchise accomplish during his time in Chicago…” general manager Stan Bowman said. “He was one of our leaders on the ice, most notably as an alternate captain for several seasons, as well as off the ice with his countless contributions and volunteer work with team partners, sponsors and Blackhawks fans everywhere. He will forever be a Blackhawk and we wish him and his family nothing but the best in Dallas and beyond.”

In 68 regular season games this past season, Sharp had 43 points including 16 goals. He had 15 points in 23 playoff games.

Sharp has been a Blackhawk since December of 2005, when the Philadelphia Flyers traded him. Throughout 10 seasons, he amassed 511 points in 679 regular season games and added 81 points in 129 playoff games.

While this is certainly a big loss for Chicago, it’s a major win for the Dallas Stars and they’re looking to be one of the most formidable teams going into the 2015-2016 season.

Daley is the key piece going back to Chicago and his loss will sting a little for the Stars, but they’re basing their attack on a strong forward group. Still, the 31-year-old defenceman is coming off the best season of his career with 38 points in 68 regular season games. He had 16 goals.

For the record, the Stars will retain half of Garbutt’s salary and cap hit. They’ll take the full cap hit on both Sharp and Johns, further incentivizing the deal for the Blackhawks.

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