Patrick Marleau Is Again The place He Belongs

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Patrick Marleau (No. 12). Picture by Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY SportsIt all the time needed to come again to San Jose. Patrick Marleau spent the primary 19 seasons of his NHL profession with the Sharks and now the veteran ahead returns for a 3rd and sure ultimate stint with the franchise.As a workforce, the stakes are low – San Jose is in a rebuilding trough proper now – however for the person, historical past is on the horizon: Marleau is simply 45 video games shy of breaking Gordie Howe’s report for video games performed within the NHL, a mark that at the moment stands at 1,767. Whereas Marleau has spent the previous couple of seasons chasing that elusive Stanley Cup (first with Toronto, then with Pittsburgh), now he returns residence to Northern California to cement a legacy that’s sterling, with or with no championship.”I nonetheless love taking part in,” stated the 41-year-old Marleau. “I nonetheless love the competitors and going after my dream of successful the Stanley Cup. So far as the report, you by no means know what can occur. But when it does occur, it might be one thing particular, that is for positive. And Gordie being from Saskatchewan, my residence province, it might be a cool reference to him.”That is Marleau’s third spin round with San Jose, having performed a few of final season with the Sharks earlier than the deal to Pittsburgh, however within the grand scheme of issues, he is all the time been a Shark. Marleau was drafted by the workforce approach again in 1997, that means various gamers in at present’s NHL weren’t even born when he first pulled on the teal for the 1997-98 marketing campaign.”He is one of the vital iconic gamers in not solely Sharks historical past, however NHL historical past,” stated GM Doug Wilson. “And it isn’t nearly this report: Patty desires to compete. His elite stage of health is inspiring to all people, together with our younger gamers. And if he will set that report, which is an unbelievable report, he ought to do it in a Sharks jersey.”For years, Marleau was the co-face of the franchise with Joe Thornton. San Jose had sustained success for a lot of that run and solely not too long ago has the workforce confronted the inevitability of a rebuild.Because of the Erik Karlsson commerce, the Sharks didn’t have their lottery decide for 2020, a transfer that proved disastrous when the workforce cratered within the standings (Karlsson’s harm woes did not assist) and Ottawa was handed the No. three decide general. That commerce additionally price the Sharks prospect heart Josh Norris, who ripped it up within the AHL final season and can probably get a shot at a pleasant position with the Senators subsequent 12 months.San Jose does have a cadre of younger gamers, however none actually stepped up this previous season in a difference-making approach. Bringing again Marleau – in addition to Stefan Noesen and former Shark Matt Nieto – supplies each inner competitors and a terrific mentor within the dressing room for these youngsters that do crack the roster, whether or not or not it’s Noah Gregor, Sasha Chmelevski or any variety of younger Sharks hopefuls.The actual fact Marleau’s new deal is a one-year contract for the league-minimum $700,000 additionally means there’s nothing to lose for the Sharks and every little thing to achieve, whereas the left winger/heart will get to play in a cushty setting together with his spouse and 4 hockey-playing sons.”I admire it fairly a bit,” Marleau stated. “However they’re critics too after I come residence. It is fairly enjoyable to have the ability to discuss to them about it. They’re an enormous motive I am nonetheless taking part in.”Marleau additionally stated that he actually did not take a look at every other groups totally free company, as an alternative hoping {that a} match could possibly be labored out with San Jose. Now that he is again within the fold, his mission is similar because it ever was: deliver a title to city. He was there when the Sharks misplaced the ultimate to Pittsburgh in 2016 and now he desires to complete the job. The actual fact San Jose has taken a giant step again since then does not faze him in any respect.”Everyone is aware of we did not do what we usually do right here in San Jose,” he stated. “I sit up for coming again in coaching camp and everybody could have just a little further get-up-and-go to get again into that playoff image and chasing that Cup.”

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