Philadelphia Flyers special advisor to hockey operations Patrick Sharp won two championships on the Wells Fargo Center ice.
For Flyers’ fans, one was extremely painful.
That was in 2010, Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, when Sharp was a productive member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Kane slid in an odd-angled goal past Michael Leighton to win Game 6, and the Cup, in overtime.
“That was a fun playoff round against the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final,” Sharp said on a Zoom call with the media. “Pulled it out there in Game 6 with ‘Kaner’ scoring the overtime winning goal.
“Great memories for me personally. Same ice surface that the Phantoms won [Calder Cup] five years earlier in 2005, so it was a full circle moment for myself.”
Sharp was on the Calder Cup championship team in 2005 that was coached by John Stevens. The former Flyers coach was in the news Monday when he brought the Stanley Cup to Sea Isle City on his Cup for a Day adventure. Stevens was an assistant coach on the Cup-winning Vegas Golden Knights.
Sharp was the Philadelphia Flyers’ third-round pick in 2001, 95th overall, out of the University of Vermont. From 2002-06, Sharp played for the Phantoms and Flyers, recording 66 games with the Flyers and scoring 10 goals.
The forward played 163 games with the Phantoms, scoring 52 goals. He was traded to Chicago in December 2005, along with Eric Meloche, for Matt Ellison and a 2006 third-round pick.
Sharp played 749 games in Chicago and scored 249 goals and 283 assists. He had four 30-goal seasons. He also won Cups in Chicago in 2013 and 2015.
Player Development With Flyers
“When I left school I didn’t know what was in store for me as far as the professional game,” Sharp said. “I didn’t know if I was going to make the NHL.
“That was the dream and the goal to [but] I wasn’t quite ready at age 20. I needed to learn a lot about living on my own … needed to learn a lot about being a professional and how to compete more consistently.
“Those are things that I did learn over parts of three seasons including one full season in 2005 when the Phantoms ultimately won the Calder Cup. So I feel like I’ve got great experience to relate to these players and help them on their journey.”
The Flyers are emphasizing player development as part of their rebuild. Sharp has lived the hockey life, bouncing between the NHL and AHL.
“I grew a lot as a person [from age 20 to 24],” Sharp said. “And even though at the time they were challenging years, being in the minors and fighting to get to that next level, I was really thankful for the help of [Phantoms] coach John Stevens and [Flyers coach] Ken Hitchcock, and a lot of leadership in the Phantoms’ room that helped push me to the next level.”
2005 Phantoms’ Talented Roster
Trading Sharp was a bad deal for the Flyers. He blossomed into an outstanding NHL player.
His 2005 Phantoms team was talented, and included Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Todd Fedoruk, Riley Cote, R.J. Umberger, Ben Eager, Joni Pitkanen and Dennis Seidenberg. The goalies were Antero Niittymaki and Neil Little.
“When I look back at my career as a player, clearly the three Stanley Cups in Chicago stand out,” Sharp said.
“But that year in Philadelphia, that deep playoff run, the way the city got behind us and just the experiences I went through individually as a player, challenging myself, being competitive through four playoff rounds, that followed me around through the rest of my career and it helped me become the player that I later became.
“So my experience not only with the Flyers, but most importantly with the Phantoms, is something that I’m looking to pass along to our guys now.”