When Patrick Marleau takes the ice at SAP Center as a Toronto Maple Leaf later this month, his routine on and off of the ice will be the same.
Marleau was the last player to leave the Sharks’ dressing room during his 19 years in teal, and “the tradition stays alive in his new home,” according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The 38-year-old, who signed a three-year deal with Toronto on July 2, has also stuck with the training methods he learned during his time in San Jose.
Marleau changed his off-season training about five years ago.“He’s really good at having the right approach to his body,” said Mike Potenza, San Jose’s strength and conditioning coach. Potenza’s time with Marleau lasted 11 years, seeing a player who adapted to the challenges of keeping agility and flexibility as he got older. Marleau adopted Pilates and a more rigorous in-season stretching routine.
Five seasons ago, Marleau opened the year with nine goals in his first five games. It's still the fastest such start in Sharks franchise history.
The former Sharks forward also took the unusual step of starting his summer workouts slowly, taking it to a higher level in September, Potenza said.
“The first time we did it, he came to me at the start of the year and said he didn’t feel as good,” Potenza told Friedman. “I told [Marleau], ‘Wait until February.’ He came back then and said, ‘I never felt this good.’”
Marleau will play in San Jose as an opponent for the first time on October 30.