With the 2019-20 NHL season underway, veteran Patrick Marleau remains on the sidelines, still without a team after finishing up a two-year stint in Toronto.
But the 40-year-old remains confident he’ll return to the big leagues this season, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
“[There’s] some confidence in Patrick Marleau’s camp that he will indeed find his way back to the NHL,” Johnston said Saturday during Hockey Night in Canada’s ‘Headlines’ segment. “Obviously [he’s] still unsigned, still working out, but still has a burning desire to continue his NHL career. Remember, he missed one game in the last 10 years, and has a consecutive games-played streak of nearly 800 games.”
While a new contract for the longtime San Jose Shark didn’t materialize during the off-season, Johnston said the stalemate was a result of Marleau taking time to ensure he chooses the right club as his next destination.
“Part of the reason I think he didn’t end up with a team to this point is he’s being selective about where he goes, wants to stay close to home with his family back in San Jose,” Johnston said. “And he was focused on the Sharks into July, and ultimately they chose to go another direction.
“But he remains confident that he’s going to get another job this season.”
Marleau has 1,657 NHL games under his belt up to this point, with 1,166 points amassed over that 21-year big-league career. He posted just 37 points in Toronto last year, but had 27 goals in each of the two years prior, proving he can still be of use to clubs looking for depth scoring.