Patrick Marleau has had one of the most known hockey careers in the NHL. Where will this season take him?
Patrick Marleau had an amazing season earlier this year, surpassing Gordie Howe for “Most Number of NHL Games Played”. He played a total of 1,779 games at the end of the 2020-2021 season, a full 13 games more than Gordie Howe. He also continued his ironman streak to fourth of all time with 899 games, but what next? What does this season hold for him, or will there even be a season for him?
Marleau has been remarkably quiet this offseason and hasn’t made a peep regarding whether or not he would retire this season or continue to play. The closest we came to any kind of mention about whether he would keep playing was a Q&A video with his kids, where they all enthusiastically said they wanted their father to keep playing (his wife Christina didn’t seem so sure).
However, just because his kids want him to keep playing doesn’t mean he’ll listen. I think we all would understand if he decided to step down after 24 seasons with the NHL. Let him relax, spend time with his family, not get his body beat every night! We all would understand if he decided to take a break, despite the devastating loss that would be for the San Jose Sharks.
But maybe his kids are really persuasive, or maybe he feels his time isn’t up yet in the NHL. Maybe he wants to make one more run for the Cup and feels like this is the year he can finally get it. The question is, what does his 25th season hold for him?
First of all, I don’t think the Sharks would object to Patrick Marleau risking his body (and ironman streak) for one more season. He’s more than a veteran, and he’s got to be a presence in the locker room for the younger players on the team, which this team sorely needs. He’s also still good on the ice, scoring 4 goals and 5 assists in the shortened season.
To be honest, I think the silence on his end shows that we’re closer to the end than maybe anyone wants to admit. The Sharks still have the cap space for him, but they still have to sign a forward and they have signed their limit of contracts, so without a couple of trades, Marleau can’t be on the team. And, we’re nearing the beginning of the pre-season with no word, and that makes me worry. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if he takes the risk and signs with a new team, the Sharks make a few late trades or Marleau decides to end his career on a high.