Sharks fans welcome Patrick Marleau back with standing ovation

Watch as Patrick Marleau gets a standing ovation in his return to the San Jose Sharks.

Although he was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Sunday night made a compelling case that San Jose will always be home for Patrick Marleau.

The 40-year-old Marleau, who served as captain of the San Jose Sharks from 2003 until 2009 and spent 19 years wearing teal before a brief stint wearing blue-and-white, returned to San Jose for the first time this season as a member of the Sharks and was greeted with thunderous applause.

In the end, no one is ever too old to find their way back to where they began, as those in attendance at SAP Center rose to their feet to prove when Marleau skated through the shark’s mouth.

“I can’t thank everybody enough for all that,” Marleau said during a first period intermission interview.

Sunday marks Marleau’s second appearance with the Sharks, and the first one offered signs that the partnership can still be fruitful both sentimentally and on the ice.

The veteran winger scored twice on six shots and added five hits in 15:30 of ice-time in a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks just two days after signing a one-year contract to return to San Jose.

“No training camp, no exhibition games, and show up and play a game like that, and give us a boost at a critical time,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said after his debut. “That’s why he’s the player he is.”

Marleau is San Jose’s all-time leader in both games played and goals scored. With six more appearances this year, he’ll become the seventh player in NHL history to play 1,500 with a single franchise.

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