NHL greats who were first to have jersey retired laud Marleau


Like many a great explorer, Patrick Marleau didn’t really know anything about where he was going, he just went.

“I didn’t know much about San Jose,” Marleau recalled thinking when the Sharks selected the teenager second overall in the 1997 NHL Draft. “I think in my head, I had a vision of just a lot of beach, a lot of sand, a lot of palm trees.”

What Marleau discovered instead -- land-locked San Jose is about an hour’s drive from the Pacific Ocean -- is a home, in the city of San Jose, and now, up in the rafters of SAP Center, as the first player in Sharks history to have his jersey retired.

That honor is not lost on Marleau, who skated for the Sharks from 1997 to 2017, then again from 2019 to 2021.

“That’s the greatest honor, to be able to be the first one up there,” he admitted. “Nobody else is gonna have that honor.”

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Besides Marleau, I spoke with Shane Doan and Denis Potvin, both also the first in their respective franchises to have their jerseys retired, to get a better sense of what that honor means.


Read the full article on San Jose Hockey Now