Sharks

Marleau leaves Sharks, signs three-year deal with Toronto

Marleau leaves Sharks, signs three-year deal with Toronto

Lasting two full decades, the Patrick Marleau era in San Jose has come to an end.

The 37-year-old winger, drafted by the Sharks with the second overall pick in 1997, signed a three-year deal worth $18.75 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, concluding his storied run in the Bay Area. According to multiple reports, the deal has a full no-movement clause.

It’s believed that the Sharks’ offer was not equal to what the Leafs were offering.

Marleau departs as the franchise leader in games played (1,493), goals (508) and points (1,082). He is fifth in the NHL is goals among active players, and his 270 goals since the start of the 2008-09 season is sixth in the league. Marleau’s 98 career game-winning goals is ninth all-time in the NHL, and he is one of just three NHL players to have at least one game-winning goal against 29 other NHL teams.

In 2016-17, Marleau’s 19th season in the NHL, he finished with 27 goals and 46 points in 82 games. He has played in 624 consecutive games.

Marleau scored his 500th career goal on Feb. 2 in Vancouver, and scored four goals in the third period of a game on Jan. 23 at Colorado, becoming the first player to score four times in one period since Mario Lemieux in 1997.

Marleau is a three-time NHL All-Star (2004, 2007 and 2009) and has won two gold medals with Team Canada at the Olympics in 2010 and 2014 under Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock. He was named as the Sharks’ player of the year for the 2003-04, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, and was voted as the fan favorite for three straight seasons from 2010-11 to 2012-13.

On Saturday, it was learned that Marleau’s longtime teammate and fellow unrestricted free agent Joe Thornton would return to the Sharks on a one-year deal.

Sharks' Game 7 comeback vs. Vegas was greatest win in franchise history

Sharks' Game 7 comeback vs. Vegas was greatest win in franchise history

April 23, 2019, will go down as a prominent chapter in Sharks history.

What happened at SAP Center on Tuesday night during the Sharks' 5-4 overtime win in Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights might have been the franchise’s greatest win in their three decades of existence. There’s really only one other kind of victory which would top it at this point … but let’s leave that for the road ahead.

Here are five observations from San Jose's monumental comeback:

Redemption

Talking about the infamous “reverse sweep” brings bad recent playoff memories for Sharks fans. And while this wasn’t the full extent of that, coming back from a 3-1 series hole and a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 felt equally monumental.

Individually in the series, Martin Jones went from a “goat” after Game 4, to literally the “G.O.A.T.” by Game 6. Kevin Labanc revealed earlier this season that coaches had motivated him by specifically questioning their trust in him for a then-hypothetical Game 7 versus Vegas. All he did was score or assist on all four goals in the third period.

And lastly, Barclay Goodrow was benched most of the third period in Game 7. But with tired legs on both sides, Pete DeBoer gave him another shot, and a fresh Goodrow made all the difference by netting the overtime winner.

#WinForJumbo, and #WinForPavs

The sight of a concerned Joe Thornton holding a bloodied towel to the back of Joe Pavelski’s head should be enough to rattle anyone with a pulse. If Pavelski couldn’t see what was unfolding during his absence, there’s no doubt the captain (below the lower deck) could hear how his injury became the rallying point as the SAP Center erupted four times in four minutes.

The gruesome scene, and the five-minute power play it offered were a huge opportunity for San Jose, which was quickly noted by the Thornton. According to multiple teammate accounts, Thornton became very vocal and motivational on the bench.

Bad call?

First off, the cross-checking major resulted in an unprecedented four straight power-play goals, which was probably more detrimental to Vegas than the call itself.

But for your consideration of officiating, I present Brent Burns' disallowed goal in Game 2 which would have given San Jose a 4-3 lead and tremendous momentum. Also, Joe Thornton was suspended for Game 4 after his hit on Tomas Nosek … not debating the play or call, only the extreme lack of consistency in the NHL’s levels of discipline this season. Also, consider Game 6 when Goodrow was in the penalty box for a less-than-obvious double overtime slashing call when Tomas Hertl netted the game-winner shorthanded. And there were other questionable calls in Game 7. Was Eakin’s goal a high touch?

I’ll rest my case in saying that questionable calls went both ways in this series, and can’t be used as an excuse by either side.

 Timo, Tomas and Clutch-ure

Two of the four comeback goals Sunday night were scored by Logan Couture. I’ve had the privilege of watching and covering almost every NHL game he’s played in during the last ten seasons, and it must be said: he’s one of the biggest heartbeats of this team. When they’re struggling, he’s accountable. When they’re surging, he’s usually involved. I also want to single out Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier as being absolute beasts in Game 7, and the series as a whole. Hard to say any kind of “window” is closing in San Jose with these three continuing to emerge.

Nice road ahead

This is not to suggest or predict or imply anything, just an observation: the playoff brackets stack up well for whoever was going to advance in this series. Calgary, Winnipeg, Nashville — they’re all out in the West. Toronto, Tampa, Pittsburgh — they’re all out in the East. Sure, the teams that upset their counterparts have to be taken seriously, but it’s not the heavy-hitting survivors that most expected.

In addition for San Jose — yes, there may be some mental and physical fatigue to guard against starting Friday night against Colorado. But what they’ve already gained in facing elimination three times, and galvanizing as a group, you’d think would have to pay off greater dividends in time.

Bob Errey’s 1994 treatise foretold how today’s Sharks would win Game 7

Bob Errey’s 1994 treatise foretold how today’s Sharks would win Game 7

Bob Errey, leader of the scrappy 1994 San Jose Sharks who shocked the hockey world, delivered words that still ring true in San Jose — and were acted upon Tuesday night.

Sharks radio announcer Dan Rusanowsky tweeted Errey’s “16 Points for Playoff Success,” which the then-captain wrote and shared before the team’s Stanley Cup playoff first-round upset of the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings 25 years ago.

One of the 16 points, in particular, might resonate with the current Sharks, after their 5-4 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 extended their season past the first round.

Indeed, a five-minute major penalty on Vegas for cross-checking changed the game for the Sharks, who scored four power-play goals in 4:01 in the third period. That turned a seemingly hopeless 3-0 deficit into a hopeful 4-3 lead. The reckless hit took current team captain Joe Pavelski out of the game, but the Sharks’ reaction put them back in it, as their former captain foretold.

Of course, point Nos. 12, 13 and 16 also apply to these Sharks. They mostly kept their cool, even after losing Pavelski on a scary, dangerous hit. They attacked the net to create chances. And they showed incredible tenacity in not quitting, despite the odds.

[RELATED: How Sharks won 'craziest game' ever]

So, time is a flat circle for the Sharks, whose captain from glory days long gone pointed the way to winning a game today.