Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks sign Patrick Sharp to five-year extension

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All the speculation can finally end. Forward Patrick Sharp, who was always considered a core player by the Blackhawks, signed a five-year extension with the team on Wednesday.

The annual cap hit of Sharp's new contract is $5.9 million, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. Sharp is entering the last year of a contract that carries a $3.9 million cap hit. His salary for the 2011-12 season is $4.2 million.

Last summer, there was ample speculation that Sharp was on the trade market with the Hawks having salary-cap concerns. But general manager Stan Bowman always said the plan was to re-sign Sharp.

He stayed true to his word.

"Patrick is a very important member of our organization and we are looking forward to him being part of a core group that will be a contender for many years to come," Bowman said. "Over the last several years we have seen him develop into one of the game's elite players as well as a fixture in the community and we are proud to be able to announce this news [Wednesday]."

Sharp, 29, led the Hawks with 34 goals last season and had a career-high 71 points in 74 games. He also was honored as the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 All-Star Game in Raleigh.

Sharp has scored 150 goals in a Hawks uniform during regular-season play since being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 5, 2005.

"I feel like the best is yet to come," Sharp said. "There's no reason to stop. I feel like I'm getting in better shape each year. ... I'm looking forward to improving down the line.

""It feels good to know that I'm wanted here in Chicago."

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Great signing... Sharpy is with out a doubt... one of the top 3 players on that team... Core is locked up... Hawks will be a power for years to come..

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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