Well, at least you can't say the start to this Sharks season isn't interesting.
After rumors that Patrick Marleau could return to the South Bay were ultimately shut down, the franchise's all-time goals and points leader is re-joining the Sharks, the team announced Tuesday afternoon ahead of their game against the Nashville Predators.
Marleau's return certainly is a polarizing one. It also says a lot about where the team stands just three games into the season.
Less than a month ago, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told the press the organization was focused on giving its emerging young players the opportunity to fill in key roles on the team as opposed to bringing Marleau back. But after getting outscored 12-3 to start the season, it looks like the team wants more veteran help on offense -- and doesn't want to wait to fill in that role, either.
There are, of course, questions as to how much Marleau will contribute. While Marleau was a key to San Jose's offense through 19 seasons, he's coming off a down season with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he scored 37 points, his fewest since a 31-point campaign during the truncated 2012-13 season. Though the Sharks could use any boost to their offense that they can get right now, he's probably not going to fill San Jose's scoring void upon his return.
It will be interesting to see where Marleau pencils into San Jose's lineup. Before taking his talents to Toronto, he spent a significant amount of time playing on Logan Couture's wing on the Sharks' second line. Whether Peter DeBoer files Marleau right back into that spot is anyone's guess.
And frankly, since DeBoer has no problem mixing up his lines at any given time, it wouldn't be surprising if Marleau does some moving around before he finds the perfect spot in the Sharks' forward assault.
Keep in mind: Just because Marleau is returning to the Sharks, doesn't mean that the team's early-season woes are completely behind them. San Jose only has scored one goal per game through its first few contests and the power play is a dismal 0-for-14. Marleau also is going to have to get acclimated to the team given there have been multiple roster changes since he last played with them.
What does Marleau have left in the tank? We'll just have to wait for when he puts that Sharks sweater back on and see for ourselves.