Hawks' Sharp preparing for second child

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is the latest Blackhawk on baby watch.

Sharp and his wife Abby are expecting their second child sometime in the next week. The official due date is Oct. 14, but Sharp said his wife was already showing signs of possibly having the child sooner.

Sharp and the Blackhawks depart for St. Louis on Tuesday and will return after Wednesday's game against the St. Louis Blues. If his wife does go into labor in the next two days, Sharp has a plan in place.

"[Blackhawks team services senior director] Tony Omen and my wife have been talking quite a bit," Sharp said after Tuesday's practice. "But if I'm on the ice, I might as well just take the charter flight home. That'll be the quickest way home. We'll see what happens. We'll play it hour to hour, I guess.

"I think about it all the time. When I'm playing hockey and with the team, it's easy to take your mind off that stuff. I'm prepared. My wife's prepared. Her mother is in town, so that helps out a lot. We'll just take it day by day."

Sharp is also prepared to miss a game if it means being there with his wife.

"I don't want to, but I'm going to have to, yes," Sharp said.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was the last Blackhawk to have a child during the season. Keith's child was born during the Western Conference quarterfinals last season. Keith flew from Minnesota to Chicago on the evening of May 8 for his child's birth and returned to Minneapolis just a few hours before having to play in Game 4 on May 9.

"He played pretty good that game considering it was playoffs, too," Sharp said. "Hopefully, that doesn't have to happen. Our first daughter, she picked her spot perfectly right between a home and away game. I was able to miss a practice, which is nice, and not miss a game."

Sharp did have one memorable weekend before and after his first child was born in December of 2011.

"I scored [the game-winner against the New York Islanders on Thursday] in Long Island and wanted to call home and ask my wife if she saw me score and tell me how great I was, and she said I think I'm having the baby," Sharp said. "Had the baby on Saturday and scored the game-winner on Sunday, so it was a special weekend."