The San Jose Sharks came up short in the Stanley Cup Final, the first ever for the organization, and now they have just a short time to regroup and prepare for the future, including the National Hockey League Entry Draft and free agency.
With that in mind one of the big things on Sharks general manager Doug Wilson's mind will have to be the future of Patrick Marleau within his organization. There were multiple reports of a trade demand from Marleau at the start of training camp before the regular season and with his no movement clause he had reportedly given the Sharks a very short list.
Marleau may have changed his tune however, and according to CSN's Kevin Kurnz Marleau appeared to indicate as much when asked if he wanted to remain a Shark.
"Yeah, I have a contract for next year, so looking forward to it.”
Despite Marleau's new found desire to remain a Shark, at least publicly, ESPN's Craig Custance believes the Sharks should look to trade the veteran forward, perhaps even at the cost of having to retain a portion of his cap hit. From Custance:
...it’s probably time for Marleau and the Sharks to move on, mostly because of his big salary. Marleau has one more year on his deal with a cap hit of $6.7 million, a healthy ticket for a 36-year-old whose points per game rate (0.59) dropped to the lowest level since he was 22 years old. San Jose may have to retain salary to move him.
But freeing up that money would go a long way in adding needed depth for the Sharks.
It's a substantial cap hit for San Jose, and while Marleau may have wanted out at the start of the season, the Sharks may be the ones who now want to move on from this relationship.