Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp didn't mince words when asked about the trade Saturday that sent defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders.
"It [stinks]. It [stinks] to see Nick leave the squad," Sharp said Sunday, according to CSN Chicago. "He's well-liked in the locker room. Everyone knows the quality player he is and the quality person. He's going to have a heck of a chance to become the star in the League we all think he's going to be. We've said it a thousand times ? it's professional sports, it's part of the gig. You lose players every season and I think we've come to accept it."
Chicago needed to shed salary before Tuesday, which is why Leddy, along with goalie Kent Simpson, were traded to the Islanders in exchange for defensemen TJ Brennan and Ville Pokka and goalie Anders Nilsson. Leddy, 23, had seven goals and 24 assists in 82 games last season. He will be a restricted free agent next summer.
Leddy fought for playing time in Chicago, which boasts star defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. But he could play a major role for the Islanders, who made several changes during the offseason to upgrade their roster and also acquired defenseman Johnny Boychuk from the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
"It's tough, but he's looking at the positives," Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw said of Leddy. "He can do well there. He could log a lot of minutes and he'll be a big part of the team."