Marleau ‘Looking Forward’ to Another Season With Sharks
SAN JOSE — After a season of rumors, speculation and uncertainty, Patrick Marleau reaffirmed his desire to play out his contract with the Sharks.
With just four pending-unrestricted free agents on the roster, the biggest question surrounding the Sharks heading into the offseason is whether Marleau will be wearing teal again next year.
But when asked if he wants to remain with the Sharks next season, Marleau said, “yeah.”
“I have a contract for next year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
After spending the first 18 years of his career with the Sharks organization, Marleau’s future with the club came into question in November when reports surfaced that he’d told management that he’d be willing to waive his no-move clause under the right circumstances.
Although rumors continued to swirl throughout the winter, nothing materialized before the trade deadline and the Sharks wound up reaching the Stanley Cup final for the first time in franchise history.
Nevertheless, head coach Peter DeBoer acknowledged on a pair of occasions that there may have been some disagreement between he and Marleau concerning his role on the team.
After skating on Logan Couture’s left wing throughout most of the last few seasons, Marleau spent a large chunk of time in the third line center position this year.
During the Sharks first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings, DeBoer suggested he and Marleau had some differences of opinion over where he should play.
When asked about how he decides where to play Marleau during the Western Conference finals, DeBoer said: “I’m not here to make Patrick Marleau feel good. We’re here to win games and we’re going to put him wherever we feel we have to, to win games.”
Marleau, however, suggested he’s indifferent as to where he plays in the Sharks lineup.
“I’m used to both,” he said. “I started out as a center. When I did move to wing it was a little bit of a learning curve for me, but I’m pretty comfortable. I’ve been going back and forth for a while now.”
After posting his lowest non-lockout season goal total since the 2007-08 season last year (19), Marleau bounced back with 25 tallies this year, playing a key role during Couture’s 30-game absence early in the season by moving into the center position.
Marleau has one year remaining on his current contract and he carries a no-move clause. He will turn 37 on Sept. 15.
Couture said the team also wants Marleau to be a part of the group next year.
“You think of the San Jose Sharks, you think of Patrick Marleau, that’s just the way it is,” he said. “He comes to work every day, he works hard. He’s a quiet guy, but he’s a leader.”
“He’s loved in this room, what’s heard on the outside is on the outside. He is a great teammate and we love playing with him.”
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