After a winless start to the regular season, the San Jose Sharks are hoping an old friend named Patrick Marleau can bring some stability.

GM Doug Wilson announced that the team will sign the 40-year-old Marleau, who is the franchise leader in games (1,493), goals (508) and points (1,082). The deal is for one year with a $700,000 cap hit, which is the league minimum.

The signing would necessitate a roster move, as Cap Friendly had the Sharks with just $7,837 in cap space without Marleau on the roster.

The forward last played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, finishing last season with 37 points in 82 games — the 10th straight season in which he didn’t miss a game.

But his $6.25 million annual average salary was too much for the cap-strapped Leafs, who traded him to Carolina. The Hurricanes made the move in order to buy out the last year of Marleau’s contract, which netted them a first-round pick in 2020 (or 2021, if Toronto is in the lottery this summer).

Marleau had skated with former Sharks teammate Joe Thornton in the run-up to the season, and there was speculation that he could rejoin San Jose. But Wilson dismissed that notion in the offseason, citing a collection of younger players the Sharks wanted to give ice time and saying the franchise was in a different place than it was when Marleau left for Toronto in 2017.

Perhaps the Sharks’ frustrating start caused for an early shakeup. San Jose started the season 0-3-0, mustering only three goals scored to 12 against. The team lost three forwards to free agency in the offseason: Wingers Joonas Donskoi and Gustav Nyquist, and center Joe Pavelski, the team’s captain who left a leadership void in the dressing room.

Marleau captained the Sharks from 2003-09.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here