Sharp ready to face Philly in Cup finals

CHICAGO -- He was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers for just 66 games, but Patrick Sharp has fond memories of being drafted and developing as a player in Philadelphia.

Starting Saturday, he'll face his former team in the Stanley Cup finals, and that's just fine by him.

"There is enough incentive to win the series with the Cup on the line, but playing the Flyers brings up a whole different set of emotions," Sharp said on Wednesday after practice. "I started there, and I have a lot of friends in that organization and they treated me well.

"It's exciting playing against my former team, and hopefully we can beat them."

Sharp actually won a championship with Philadelphia before being dealt to Chicago. It was in the AHL, with the Philadelphia Phantoms, and he won it alongside a couple of current Flyer mainstays, captain Mike Richards and forward Jeff Carter.

"It's pretty neat," Sharp said. "It's about five years ago we won that championship, and I came here shortly after, and they started their careers in Philadelphia.

"It's kind of neat to see we've gotten to the same point now. They're two great players that are a huge part of the team over there. We'll have to do a great job in shutting them down, and hopefully we can win the big Cup."

After winning the Calder Cup in 2005, Sharp was traded mid-season to the Blackhawks, and missed out playing for a 45-26-11 Flyers team that made the playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals. The Hawks went 26-43-13 that year.

"It was a blessing in disguise," Sharp explained. "It gave me an opportunity to play. They sent me to a team that was developing players. I was one of those guys that got a chance to play a lot and make mistakes, so there are no hard feelings at all."

In fact, Sharp didn't score a goal in his first 24 games as a Hawk after potting five in 22 games with Philadelphia before being traded. At the time, his confidence took a hit, but slowly he's developed into one of the best snipers in the league. And he knows he might be in for a rude welcome home.

"I hope I get a few boos," he said. "That would be nice. It would mean a lot."

Sharp says he stays in contact with some of the Flyers -- his closest pal is their trainer -- but won't do so until after the finals.

"I don't think there is going to be much talk going on," Sharp stated. "Maybe afterwards."

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.