I must admit I have not heard the name of veteran National Hockey League forward Patrick Marleau on the rumor mill much as of late, but now it sounds like one Stanley Cup contender may be seriously looking at adding him as they head towards the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On Monday morning during TSN's annual trade deadline day coverage, TSN NHL insider Pierre LeBrun revealed that the Pittsburgh Penguins and general manager Jim Rutherford have shown interest in Marleau, although how aggressive the Penguins are going to be on this one remains to be seen. Marleau of course returned to the San Jose Sharks this season after a brief stint as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I think it is fair to suggest that the 40 year old saw a dip in performance from his time in Toronto. Marleau has thus far appeared in 58 games for the Sharks this season and over that stretch he has recorded 10 goals and 10 assists for a combined total of 20 points and a plus minus rating of -5 on the season thus far.
Now to be fair to Marleau here I think it is also fair to suggest that the failure of the Sharks roster as a whole this season has no doubt impacted his own performance, although how much blame Marleau himself deserves for that failure is difficult to gauge. The Sharks roster as a whole has drastically underperformed this season, an underperformance that would eventually lead to the termination of long time Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer, and it will remain to be seen how well Marleau can perform if he does indeed get a shot with another team.
Although Marleau's loyalty is clearly with the San Jose Sharks he has shown a willingness to play for a different organization if it means a shot at a Stanley Cup Championship, something that has eluded him for his entire NHL career. This time around Marleau has no trade protection in the one year contract he signed with the Sharks in October so the Sharks will have a lot more control over this situation. No doubt any team trading for Marleau this time around will want assurances that he is willing to play for the organization prior to pulling the trigger on a trade deal.