Patrick Marleau Announces Retirement From Hockey After 23 Year Career

Patrick Marleau has officially penned his retirement from hockey following a lengthy 23 year career in the NHL, split between stints with the San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins.

He announced his retirement on Tuesday in a heartfelt article on The Players Tribune.

Marleau, a former second overall pick in the 1997 draft by the San Jose Sharks, finishes his career as the all-time leader for games played in NHL history with 1,779 games in his career. He also ends his career playing 21 seasons with the Sharks and is their all-time leader in games played (1,607), goals (522), and points (1,111).

The Sharks were a struggling franchise prior to drafting Marleau out of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, but with Marleau on the roster they were able to make the playoffs in 19 of his 21 seasons with the Sharks, as they became a perennial Cup contender but were never able to claim glory, culminating in a tough Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016.

Along with Marleau, players like Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski were able to make the Sharks a competitive team throughout the 2000’s and 2010’s.

While Marleau doesn’t have any pieces of individual hardware to his name, unlike his former linemate in Thornton, he does hold a place in Canadian hockey history after he was apart of the 2010 Team Canada Men’s Hockey program that won the Gold in Vancouver, cementing legacies for each and every player on the roster.

Marleau was captain of the Sharks between 2003 and 2009 before it was passed off to Joe Thornton, and he served as either captain or alternate captain for 13 seasons in San Jose.

The Saskatchewan native signed as a free agent in 2017 with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he would spend two seasons with the team and forming a bond with young stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

While his time in Toronto didn’t end up with a successful Cup run in either of his seasons with the team, he was no doubt impactful in the growth of both Matthews and Marner’s careers.

As his career was coming to an end he rejoined the Sharks in the 2019 offseason as he embarked on the tail end of his career, he was traded to the Penguins before the trade deadline that season and unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic he was only able to suit up in eight regular season games with the team before losing to the Montreal Canadiens in four games during that season’s playoff qualifying round.

Marleau would resign with the Sharks for the 2020/21 season in what would become his farewell tour as he was left as a free agent for the 2021/22 season.

What will happen for Marleau in the future remains to be seen, but he would be a wise choice to have as an executive for many teams at the top level, especially reuniting with the Sharks in an attempt to win a Stanley Cup which he was never able to achieve as a player.


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