Training camp doesn’t start until three weeks from now, but it looks like Patrick Marleau is already getting prepared for the 82-game NHL regular-season grind — and for life in a new uniform.
Marleau was spotted in a familiar building wearing very different colours than he had been used to for the past 20 years.
According to NBC Sports California beat reporter Kevin Kurz, the man who took the photos, it isn’t rare for the Sharks to allow players from other teams to use their practice facility before the start of training camp.
For Marleau, in particular, the Sharks should have no issue with him using their facilities as he was taken second overall by San Jose in the 1997 draft and spent the past 19 seasons with them before signing a three-year, $18.75-million contract with Toronto as a free agent this past July.
This isn’t the first time Marleau’s been seen in his new digs as his wife, Christina, tweeted out a photo of Patrick and their four sons all in Leafs sweaters a few weeks after Toronto made the signing official.
There's a whole lot of Canadian pride here. pic.twitter.com/dWbS17mmIW
— Christina Marleau (@c_marleau) July 28, 2017
Last season, Marleau tallied 27 goals and 46 points for the Sharks. For his career, he has amassed 508 goals and 1,082 points. He is 20th on the NHL’s all-time games played list with 1,493, just 274 shy of Gordie Howe’s record.
The Leafs play their season opener Oct. 4 against the Winnipeg Jets and home opener against the New York Rangers on Oct. 7. They will play the Sharks on Oct. 30, a game that will also mark the first time Marleau returns to the SAP Center since departing San Jose.