There was a lot of sadness in the city of Chicago back in July of 2015 when longtime winger Patrick Sharp was traded from the Blackhawks to the Dallas Stars in order to clear cap space. Sharp (35) had been with the Blackhawks most of his career and was a centerpiece in their Stanley Cup victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015. After two years in Dallas he hit free agency over the summer and decided to return to Chicago on a one-year, $800,000 deal with a possible $200,000 worth in bonuses.

While he battled injury, both in Dallas and near the end of his first Blackhawks tenure, he returned in a Chicago sweater this past weekend for their annual training camp festival and was in good shape.

He even treated the crowd at the United Center to a breakaway goal in the team scrimmage game which sent the place erupting.

Captain Jonathan Toews told Blackhawks TV beat reporter Eric Lear that, "He [Sharp] doesn't seem to be aging at all." Coach Joel Quenneville was quoted by WGN's Scott King, "He really did come into camp in great shape. When we look at the numbers and guys' conditioning levels, Sharpie' was right up there, one of the highest veteran guys that are here." Sharp had season ending surgery on his hip last March which caused people to wonder if his playing days were over.

Sharp's Blackhawks resume

The Blackhawks bring one of their biggest assets that they have had over the course of their success under owner Rockwell Wirtz and coach Joel Quenneville.

Sharp's first tenure as a 'Hawk lasted from the 2006 season to the 2015 season, a span which they won three Stanley Cups and went to five Western Conference Final series. In 670 games he scored 239 goals with 272 assists, a +/- of 79, four All Star honors and had four seasons with 30+ goals scored. He also had 42 playoff goals as a member of the Blackhawks in 117 playoff games.

Not only was he a good player, but also a key team leader as he wore an "A" on his jersey for many years. He can bring that same leadership back with his old teammates and some of the younger kids who are coming up with Chicago. Bringing him back, along with Brandon Saad, reunites the formula of success they had in the playoffs for a span of several years and hopefully can bring that same mojo back.

Some would also like to point out his accomplishment of being voted "Sexiest Man in Chicago" a few years back.

Hopes for his return

Seeing that he has come back in great shape is a very good sign. Him being 35, with a lot of mileage, and surgery last year is obviously room for concern. Last year, he scored only eight goals in 48 games with the Stars before his hip procedure. But if he continues to be in good shape and stay healthy, then Sharp can bounce back.

It is realistic to say that he can still put up some solid numbers this coming season, but probably not quite at the level he had in his prime years. He is 23 goals off the mark of 300 for his career and it would be great to see him accomplish that in a Blackhawks sweater.