Jeremy Roenick named former San Jose Sharks teammate Patrick Marleau to his list of “Five Players I Hated During My Career,” printed within the outspoken former player’s new book, J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey.
Roenick, who spent his final two seasons with the Sharks, recounts driving to Marleau’s house in attempt to inspire a talented player whom he believed lacked emotion and desire on the ice.
“I could tell 10 minutes into our conversation that I was wasting my time,” Roenick pens in his book, co-written by USA Today hockey journalist Kevin Allen. “He considered my arrival at his house an intrusion. He listened to me, but he never did anything to change the way he was.”
On Tuesday, Marleau responded to Roenick’s take on his approach to the game.
“To say that I don’t care about my play or winning or being gutless is absurd,” Marleau wrote in a text message to San Jose’s Mercury News. “I wouldn’t have left home at 14 years old to play a game I didn’t care about. I want to win more than anyone. Just because I don’t jump up and down acting like a buffoon on the ice doesn’t mean I’m not into it.”
The 33-year-old Saskatchewan native also acknowledged the perception that his game could more fire.
“I can see how people would think that because I’m very stoic,” Marleau told the paper. “I tried to keep it controlled, but believe me, the emotions are running. Sometimes I think if you just show emotion to show it, you’re draining yourself and it’s not really for anybody’s benefit.”
Marleau, a 30-goal scorer six times over, also responded to Roenick’s house visit anecdote.
“For anyone to think they are trying to ‘inspire’ me by coming to my home and giving me their two cents is comical,” Marleau said. “I will always welcome constructive criticism from my teammates, but I don’t have time for the ones who have their own agenda or are just trying to make themselves sound better.”