All the zeroes printed on his new contract offer sheet were enough to make Patrick Sharp
lift a pen and sign the document. But back in January, the Chicago Blackhawks winger wasn't just signing over his services for a great deal of cash.
"Obviously that is a lot of money and that was appealing," Sharp said of his new multi-year, multi-million dollar contract, "but coming to the United Center in January and seeing the full crowd; having the young guys there and with the turnaround the team is making -- there is talk on the street, a buzz -- it's something I want to be part of in the future."
That Sharp was in position to sign a long-term contract is proof of just how far he's come in two-and-a-half seasons with the Blackhawks.
Sharp was essentially dead weight in Philadelphia two years ago. He had only five goals and three assists through 22 games as a Flyer in 2005. He was a fourth-line winger. He was a healthy scratch at various times. He was expendable.
"My career was up in the air," Sharp said.
It was no surprise at all when the Flyers shipped him to Chicago along with Eric Meloche for Matt Ellison just two months into the season.
Sharp was at a crossroads. He could go one of two ways.
"The light went on when I was traded," Sharp said.
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