Sharp, who has been with the Blackhawks since 2005, said Tuesday he's appreciated Konerko's loyalty to the White Sox. Konerko retired this year after 16 seasons with the White Sox. Sharp believes he and the Blackhawks have a similar bond.
"Absolutely, [I'd like to end my career here]," Sharp said. "Kind of similar to Paulie, I started in the minors in the NHL with a different organization and [have] been here since 2005. Enjoyed every year. There's been ups, there's been downs. But I certainly feel that same kind of loyalty to the organization. I know they've been loyal to me. The end of my career is hopefully a long time away, but I got no excitement, no reason to leave at this point at all.
"I think you certainly feel loyalty [with Konerko]. That's tough to come by in today's professional sports. It's a business now. That's the way things are. But the way Paulie has been loyal to the Sox and been willing to take a lesser role at the end of his career to help the younger players along for the betterment of the team and the organization, you don't see that every day in sports. I think that just speaks to the type of person and teammate he is."
Sharp went to watch Konerko play numerous times over the years at U.S. Cellular Field and also got to know him personally. Sharp said he respects Konerko on and off the field.
"I think he was a very underrated player whether it's his numbers, whether it's his consistency," Sharp said. "He came to the park every day and he was kind of just a rock in that lineup. Knowing him somewhat on a personal level, you could tell he was a good teammate, he cared about the Sox and wanted to do whatever he could to make that team win. It's a pretty impressive career he put together in this city."
Sharp believes Chicago's baseball landscape will be different for him now without Konerko.
"I'm a huge baseball fan," Sharp said. "I cheer for both Chicago teams. But Paulie is a guy that I've gotten to know away from the sport, spent some time with him. He's a great guy. He's got a great family. In some parts, it's sad to see him go. It's tough to go down to the Cell and see a Sox game without Paulie playing. On the other hand, you have to celebrate his career, what he's done for the city, what he's done for the organization, and I wish him the best of luck in the future."