Former Sharks forward and current NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick has never been shy about expressing his opinion, especially when it comes to Patrick Marleau.
Marleau, San Jose’s longest-tenured player and all-time leading scorer, has been involved in trade speculation since November, when it was reported on CSNCalifornia.com that he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to either the Kings, Ducks or Rangers. Most recently, a report from ESPN said that Marleau’s agent “continues to quietly explore the market” with the permission of general manager Doug Wilson.
In an interview with local radio station KNBR, Roenick indicated that were the Sharks to move Marleau, it would be met with a sense of indifference in the dressing room.
“He’s still very, very good and very effective. But, I don’t see him being one of the locker room favorites. So, if they get rid of him, I don’t think it’s going to make a huge impact with the team,” Roenick said. “But, what they get back in return could be a huge impact. As good of a player as he is, Joe Thornton is the most popular player in the locker room, by far. I think Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are right behind him. When you have a guy that’s been in that locker room his whole career and he is not thought of like that, that raises questions.”
It’s not the first time that Roenick, who was a teammate of Marleau’s for two seasons from 2007-09, suggested that the Sharks’ dressing room might be better off without the veteran center.
"He's an extremely talented player and you can get a lot on the market for a guy like him, and maybe change the chemistry on the team,” Roenick said on June 4, 2014.
In the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, Roenick referred to Marleau’s performance against the Red Wings in a second round series as “gutless.”
Roenick was also critical of the Sharks in regards to their home and road record. While the Sharks have been one of the NHL’s best teams away from home with a 16-6-2 record, they are just 9-12-1 at SAP Center (although they improved to 4-0-1 in the last five after beating Minnesota on Saturday afternoon).
Roenick said: “It’s definitely a sign when your team loses at home and wins on the road. It means it’s a team that’s not very mentally strong and has the ability to take their foot off the pedal. I love San Jose, it’s one of my favorite teams in the league, and it really frustrates me when they get in front of their own fans, they throw up goose eggs, they throw up dog games. They are struggling with attendance right now because they are losing at home. But when they leave, they come together and they become one and win hockey games.
“That tells me that there is good, quality guys in the locker room that love to come together and play for each other. But, they’re selfish and individualistic when it comes to being at home and being able to focus on the team, rather than themselves and their home life. They need to able to separate the two of them.”
Roenick also touched on the play of defenseman Brent Burns, “in the top three best defensemen in the league,” Martin Jones, who has been “good. He hasn’t been great,” and new head coach Pete DeBoer, who has “done a good job.”