After missing training camp for the first time in his 22-year career, Patrick Marleau says he was fortunate to get the chance to return to the San Jose Sharks.
Four games into the season, the 40-year got a call from general manager Doug Wilson and quickly signed a one-year deal and would play in his first game on Oct. 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks. He showed no signs of rust, scoring two goals in the Sharks’ first win of the season.
If San Jose did not call, however, Marleau said he would have entertained other offers but is glad that it didn’t come to that.
“Who knows what would have happened or where I would have ended up but I’m sure glad they [called],” Marleau said during After Hours on Saturday. “I still wanted to play and am pretty fortunate to be able to come back here and play again and that I don’t have to think about it anymore.”
Former Leafs head coach Mike Babcock admitted back in October that the club did not expect Marleau to play his third season in Toronto because of their other salary cap commitments to players like Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews.
While Marleau is happy to see Matthews and Marner–who he had a close relationship with– sign their big deals and was willing to waive his no-move clause to free up cap space, he thought he was going to play out all three years of the contract he signed back in 2017.
“I was under the impression that I was going to be there for three years. And, you know this is a business world and things can turn quickly as we all know,” said Marleau. “When I signed the contract, I was expecting to be there for three years.”
In 31 games with San Jose, Marleau has six goals and 11 points and got to play in his 1,500th game as a member of the Sharks.