The NHL’s indefinite suspension amid the coronavirus outbreak has impacted players, coaches, executives and fans in a major way.
Although the league has made no official announcements regarding the potential resumption of the 2019-20 season, every passing day makes just picking things back up and playing less and less likely.
For veteran players nearing the end of their careers, this could have been their final chance at a postseason run.
“It’s tough for Patty [Marleau] because he had a legit chance in Pittsburgh,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said in an interview with NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil. “I look at this selfishly for Jumbo, hoping that he does come back with us next year.
“You know it saves an extra 12 games on those legs and that body of wear and tear, I know he’s gonna get a little bit older, but I think saving some time on that body will help us if he does come back with the Sharks, which I know we’re all hoping that he does.”
Marleau was dealt from San Jose to the Penguins at the trade deadline of his 22nd NHL season, with Pittsburgh was right in the thick of the playoff chase. Marleau also was just eight games from moving into fourth all-time in career NHL games played, currently held by Ron Francis (1,731).
Thornton came back to the Sharks in September for his 22nd season, surpassing the 1,500 assist mark in his 1,619th NHL game.
If we don’t end up finishing the 2019-20 NHL season, hopefully Sharks fans and Couture get their wish and can have at least one more season of Jumbo skating out onto the ice at SAP Center.