WGN Radio and the big-boy credentialed guys on Twitter are reporting Patrick Sharp has signed a 5-year extension. No money has been thrown around, though Tim Sassone makes the point it likely won’t exceed the $6.3 million cap hit for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

We’ll have more details as the story progresses, but this is an early gift from Stan Bowman as we all pretty much figured this would happen during the season.

UPDATE (12:07 p.m.):

UPDATE (3:36 p.m.):

The press conference has sealed the deal, with Sharp getting a 5-year, $29.5 million contract – a bargain given his versatility and all-around game. There’s much talk about how amazing it is to have 17 players already signed for 2012-13 and one of the best cores in the game locked up for a long period of time, and I agree. However, looking that far ahead is pretty futile given things change at the drop of a hat at times. I will say that it sounds great, but lets get focused on the task at hand: 2011-12.

The only thing – and most important thing – new to report is that this will not weigh on anyone’s mind during the season like we began to wonder about Brent Seabrook. Though I believe Sharp is professional enough not to have let any negotiations get in the way regardless, it’s always nice to not have to worry about it at all.

I wrote a post for today talking about the things which need to repeat themselves from last season, and an insightful commenter, Skags, responded with numerous questions which still remain heading into next season. We were both right, and that’s what’s important to not lose focus of despite the good news we received today.

Sharp was going to be with the team all along┬áthis coming┬áseason. While I’m happy he’s locked up, I’m keeping the champagne corked. There’s no reason to look past 2011-12, seeing as it hasn’t even started yet.

Tomorrow early morning I will have a post revisiting the trade which brought Sharp to Chicago from Philadelphia. The quotes are pretty amazing from the Philly brass back then.

Congrats to Sharpie. Now let’s go win some games.