With the Sharks clearly out of contention last season, franchise icon Patrick Marleau was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins before the NHL trade deadline, as San Jose tried to give him a chance at winning his first Stanley Cup.
Marleau and the Penguins were bounced in the qualifying round of the NHL playoff bubble, and the 41-year-old returned to the Sharks in free agency during the offseason. Now as the April 12 deadline approaches, and the Sharks once again sit near the bottom of the standings, the veteran told The Athletic's Kevin Kurz that he would be open to another potential deal sending him to a team in the playoff hunt.
“I wouldn’t actively maybe look for it, but if it does happen or it does come, or a team wants me, that’s something you have to seriously consider,” Marleau told Kurz. “Obviously, that’s still my goal, to win a Stanley Cup. It would definitely be something to consider.”
Marleau is within sight of breaking the NHL's all-time games played record, with 15 appearances separating him from hockey legend Gordie Howe's mark of 1,767 going into the Sharks' matchup Monday night with the Los Angeles Kings.
If Marleau doesn't miss any games and isn't moved by the Sharks, he is on pace to break the record on April 19 when the Vegas Golden Knights host San Jose. That game, however, would come a week after the trade deadline.
Although he wouldn't be able to do it in front of a packed house of Sharks fans at SAP Center regardless due to COVID-19, it likely would mean a lot for Marleau to break the historic record in a teal uniform. He has said that he ideally would like his career to continue beyond the 2020-21 season, but if he remains on the Sharks' roster on April 13, his chances of winning a Stanley Cup would be extinguished, at least for this season.
The Sharks are in second-to-last place in the Honda NHL West Division with just 26 points on the season and once again should be sellers at the deadline.
Whether Marleau will be one of the players moved before then remains to be seen, but it would be strange to see him pass Howe's landmark games played milestone in any uniform other than the Sharks.