All summer long all the talk surrounding National Hockey League star Patrick Marleau was centered around his seemingly singular focus on a return to the team with whom he played the vast majority of his NHL career, the San Jose Sharks. For a while it even seemed like things were headed in that direction after the Maple Leafs pulled the trigger on a trade to send him to the Carolina Hurricanes, a trade that would eventually lead to the Hurricanes buying Marleau out of his contract and making him an unrestricted free agent in the process.
The Sharks however had different ideas and after saying goodbye to their captain when forward Joe Pavelski walked away as a free agent, they never saw fit to offer Marleau a new deal and bring him back into the fold. You can hardly blame the Sharks for their decision, although it may not have been the most popular, when you consider the fact that Marleau has clearly shown signs of slowing down and turned 40 prior to the start of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season. Although that should realistically be a concern for every team around the NHL it sounds like there is still very much a road forward to one more season in the NHL for Patrick Marleau.
On Saturday night Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston revealed that Marleau still has every intention of playing this season, and furthermore Johnston made it sounds like there was a very real possibility he would do so. Here's what Johnston had to say during his weekly "Headlines" segment during the NHL telecast.
"Yes, some confidence in Patrick Marleau's camp that he will indeed find his way back to the NHL," said Johnston. "Obviously still unsigned and still working out, but he still has a burning desire to continue his NHL career. Remember guys he missed 1 game in the last 10 years, he has a consecutive games played streak of nearly 800 games, and part of the reason I think he did not end up with a team to this point is that he is being selective about where he goes, wants to stay close to his family back in San Jose, and he was focused on the Sharks until July and ultimately they chose to go in another direction."
Marleau however believes that in spite of his decision to wait for the Sharks he will be back in the NHL this season.
"He remains confident that he is going to get another job this season."
Where do you see Marleau landing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.