After 19 long seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Patrick Marleau is a Toronto Maple Leaf.
The 38-year-old will add an infusion of veteran leadership into a team that lacked it last season. Marleau, who is coming off of a 27 goal campaign, may be presented with the opportunity to play with Leafs rookie sensation Auston Matthews come October.
Though many are excited for what’s ahead, it’s important to understand the impact that Marleau had on both the Sharks and hockey in San Jose. From 2003-2009, Marleau served as the team’s captain before it was eventually awarded to Hall of fame defenceman Rob Blake. During his time with the team, he recorded all 508 of his goals and helped lead them to numerous postseason appearances.
On Sunday, the Sharks organization rightfully sent the forward off to Toronto with a massive full-page ‘thank you’ ad in the San Jose Mercury.
A classy move by a classy organization.
Marleau will especially be missed by fellow 38-year-old Joe Thornton, who played with his friend from 2005 until last season. Thornton, who was also a UFA heading into the summer, decided to stick around for at least one more year.
Time will tell how the signing effects both the Leafs and Sharks, but there’s no doubt Marleau will be missed in San Jose going forward.