Sharp as Advertised
FRISCO—Patrick Sharp isn’t flashy or demonstrative. Instead, the Dallas Stars forward lets his strong, consistent play speak volumes.
As the centerpiece of a July trade which sent longtime Stars defenseman Trevor Daley and grinder Ryan Garbutt to the Chicago Blackhawks, many hockey pundits saw the addition of Sharp, a key if not somewhat underrated cog on Chicago’s three Stanley Cup-winning teams under current head coach Joel Quenneville, as a move which could put Dallas over the top and loft them into top contender status.
Thus far, those predictions have been dead-on. In 28 games, Sharp, who has skated up and down the Dallas lineup and on the first and second power-play units, has 22 points (12 assists), ranking fourth on the Stars, who currently have the NHL’s best record.
The only Stars with more points than him are Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg.
“It’s been pretty fun,” Sharp said of his time in Dallas thus far. “I’ve had some help from teammates here in Dallas that welcomed me and (we’ve) been winning games. That makes it fun and the organization is real exciting to be a part of right now. It’s a little bit of a change off the ice for my wife and family, but they’re enjoying Texas and it’s been a blast.”
Of course, Sharp wasn’t only brought in by Stars general manager Jim Nill for his goals, assists and versatility. The veteran forward, along with fellow former Blackhawk Johnny Oduya, was acquired largely because of the impressive amount of playoff experience he possesses.
Sharp is more of a lead-by-example sort than an in-your-face leader. Stars rookie center Mattias Janmark shared a line with Sharp for part of this season and now considers him a huge role model for the sort of player he’d like to develop into.
“I think he does a lot of things professionally…like you can see he takes care of himself and has just got a good attitude. He’s fun to be around. He’s still professional. You can see he’s been on a winning team,” Janmark said. “I just think he fits in well. He’s definitely like a role model for me in the future. I know the things that he does, so it’s good for me to pick up.”
Third-year Stars head coach Lindy Ruff feels Sharp epitomizes what a consummate professional should be in one simple yet powerful way.
“Well, I think he understands that I’m using him in a lot of different places. When I talked to him about playing him here or playing him there or the guys he plays with, he tells me how much he enjoys playing with (Cody) Eakin and (Antoine) Roussel, that they’re the type of players he can thrive with,” Ruff said. “There’s no ‘I need to play here. I need to play with these guys.’ I think it’s just that ‘I’ll give you (my best) wherever you need me’ type of attitude and it doesn’t matter where you play me.”