Minnesota Duluth senior center MacGregor Sharp signed a free-agent contract Monday with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks and will be assigned to the Iowa Chops of the American Hockey League in DesMoines. He's expected to be in uniform Tuesday.You can't help but feel the same mixed emotions. It was a great run. It sucked how it ended, but this is a tremendous opportunity for Sharp. Couldn't happen to a nicer kid, and as much as I've always disliked the Ducks, it's going to be harder now that they have Sharp signed, and they have the draft rights to one of my favorite non-UMD college players (Nick Bonino of Boston U.). If only we could get them to trade Pronger.
"Every kid who ever puts up a pair of skates has a dream of playing professional hockey and that's my dream," Sharp said Monday before leaving for Des Moines. "The way our season ended was a little disappointing, but we had a great year and these were the best four years of my life."
There's a real college flavor on the Iowa Chops right now. Sharp should be familiar with guys like Stu Bickel (Minnesota), Andrew Thomas (Denver), Ryan Dingle (Denver), and Charlie Kronschnabel (Alaska-Anchorage).
I'm sure all UMD fans join me in wishing him the best of luck, and thanking him for the role he played in leading UMD to the NCAA Tournament.