According to a report from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, the long-awaited reunion between the San Jose Sharks and their former icon Patrick Marleau may have to wait until after the forward retires.
After being traded by the Leafs and bought out by Carolina, Patrick Marleau figured he would go home and return to the San Jose Sharks. Well, that’s not happening. Sharks don’t want him. Apparently, Arizona does, but Marleau may not want to play there.
Per Simmons, although Marleau had his heart set on a return to the Tank for the 2019-20 season after requesting a trade from the Maple Leafs and a subsequent buyout from the Hurricanes, the Sharks did not view him as part of the team’s future. And although the Coyotes still appear to want him, it is not at all certain that Marleau would sign with them.
Back in late June, Marleau and his agent Pat Brisson openly stated to Pierre Lebrun of the Athletic that his preferred destination was San Jose.
“Yeah, it would be nice to come back here and play where I started,” Marleau said. “It would be a good fit for me for sure.’’
Marleau’s agent Pat Brisson said Friday it’s obvious San Jose would be ideal but he and Marleau also understand the Sharks have a lot on their plate right now and they’ll need to stay patient to see how it all shakes out. So it’s not like Brisson is breathing down GM Doug Wilson’s neck. They’re giving the Sharks space to get all their other things figured out first.
Marleau went on to state that if things did not work out with San Jose, another Western Conference team would be his preferred destination, with proximity to his family’s home in San Jose being a priority.
Any return to San Jose would be heavily rooted in nostalgia rather than performance, as the 39-year-old has seen declining production for each of his last three seasons and now provides below-average play at even-strength.
Having said that, Simmons’ track record on many rumors has been noticeably hit-or-miss, and there may still be a chance that San Jose snaps up the winger in case of a training camp injury. However, when combined with the reports emanating out of the organization (from both General Manager Doug Wilson and Director of Scouting Doug Wilson Jr.) about wanting to give youth a chance, it appears that Marleau’s time in San Jose as a player may be well and truly done.
The next time we see No. 12 on the ice in a teal jersey may be when his number is lifted to the rafters.