Veteran San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau faced a barrage of questions following the teams 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday night, surrounding a report that said he would waive his NTC to be traded to three teams.
Rumors and speculation have swirled for years in regards to his or teammate’s Joe Thornton being traded. In light of missing the postseason for the first time in 11 seasons, and the continued struggles of the current Sharks roster, those same rumors have become amplified. At least for Marleau.
Saturday, Elliotte Freidman of Hockey Night in Canada said Marleau’s name was “out there,” on the trade market. “The trade market is tight right now, but one of the names we’re hearing out there is Patrick Marleau. He’s got a no move clause and there’s zero evidence the Sharks have asked him to waive it, so I can’t say who is pushing for it, but his name is definitely out there,” Freidman said.
Freidman couldn’t say who is pushing for the trade, but TSN’s hockey insider Bob McKenzie can. McKenzie said multiple sources have told TSN that Marleau “appears to be driving the bus that could be headed out of San Jose.” He continued to say that from a period as early as training camp, Marleau has indicated to the only team he has ever played for that he would accept a trade to the cities of Los Angeles, Anaheim, or New York.
These words have left many wondering if Marleau himself has had enough, and perhaps wants out of San Jose. He admitted Wednesday that there was at least an initial reaction of disappointment when he was passed over for a letter during the captaincy selections, according to Kurz’ report. Marleau is of course wearing an ‘A’ on his sweater right now, but only until injured forward Logan Couture returns from a fractured fibula.
“Obviously, as a human, when you had that in the past and it’s taken away you feel that a little bit,” Marleau said to Kurz. “But, I think it’s in the past. It’s not going to change what I do or what I bring to the rink every day.”
Newly minted head coach Peter DeBoer doesn’t think the emotions ever got in the way of Marleau’s performance.
“I never saw that. To his credit, he was very professional about it. The reality is we knew that we had a lot of potential leadership candidates and there are only so many to go around. Where he stands in that group I think is evidenced by the fact that the first time somebody went down, he got a letter.”
The Rangers have not shown any significant interest in acquiring the 36-year-old forward, according to McKenzie. They did however have a scout at two of the three previous Sharks home games. The likelihood of a trade being made inside of general manager Doug Wilson’s division doesn’t immediately strike me as something that could, or would, happen — serious doubt also inlays around whether LA or Anaheim could take Marleau’s $6.7 million salary cap hit.
Wednesday, Marleau gave some insight to CSNBayArea’s Kevin Kurz on the matter.
When asked if he would like to stay in San Jose, Marleau replied, “I’ve been here forever and it’s been a great place to play.” He continued to say that there has been incessant discussions surrounding him being traded his entire career, and that he did not want to discuss it in great detail or for the topic to become a distraction.
When Marleau signed his three-year extension, he did so alongside teammate Joe Thornton, for essentially the same amount of money. The two were both selected in the 1997 draft, with the first and second overall selections. During those contract negotiations however, Marleau was without representation. His previous agent, Don Baizley, passed away in in June, 2013.
Darren Dreger, also of TSN, reported Tuesday night that Marleau had recently retained the services of player-agent Pat Brisson during training camp. Many of us believed when the three-year extension was signed, it would likely be his last NHL contract; retaining the services such as Brisson speaks to the exact contrary.
Brisson previously facilitated the trade of Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo — shortly after being named Luongo’s agent.