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Chicago Blackhawks sign Patrick Sharp to $15.6-million, four-year extension

CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks have signed forward Patrick Sharp to a US$15.6-million, four-year contract extension.

The 26-year-old Sharp is earning $825,000 this season and would have been a restricted free agent July 1. Instead, his new deal will pay him on average $3.9 million a year starting next season.

"We're very excited about having Patrick Sharp in the fold for the next four years," Hawks GM Dale Tallon said in a statement. "His play and his attitude have been outstanding and he has taken on a real leadership role with our team. We feel that Patrick is an integral part of the future of our team. We feel that in making this commitment to Patrick Sharp we have also made a commitment to our organization and our fans in trying to achieve our goal which is to win the Stanley Cup."

Sharp has already established career highs with 22 goals and 36 points this season. He had 20 goals and 35 points in 80 games last season.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to continue my career with the Blackhawks," said Sharp. "I love the city of Chicago and the Chicago fans and I want to be here for a long time. I feel that our team has improved and continues to get better.

"Team success is a product of individual success and I will do everything I can to help bring a championship to the city of Chicago."

Sharp was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers along with forward Eric Meloche on Dec. 5, 2005, in exchange for Matt Ellison and third-round pick in the 2006 entry draft.

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