Patrick Marleau has played for two NHL teams.
He has left quite a mark on both of them.
Marleau instantly became the best story in the league so far this season when he scored two goals against the Blackhawks in his first game back with the Sharks last Friday. The franchise's all-time leader in games played and goals scored re-signed with San Jose after the Sharks incurred some injuries on their way to an 0-3 start.
Marleau clearly is happy to be back with the team he began his career with, and as if the two-goal performance wasn't an indication, the feeling is mutual. It was his first game since last April when Marleau was still with Toronto, and although he was only with the Maple Leafs for two seasons, he left a lasting impression on them.
"He means a lot to a lot of guys on this team and he’s a close friend of mine,” Toronto's Auston Matthews said of Marleau to SportsNet's Chris Johnston. “Just the way he is as a player and as a person, I think it’s just something that we can all kind of take bits and pieces of and apply it to ourselves. Not just on the ice, but off the ice as well. Just how he treats people and just the way he is and just his presence."
"He’s been in this league for [22 years] and every time someone walked in -- no matter if it was their first game or not -- he was always there to introduce himself and talk to them and try and help out if anything could be done,” Mitch Marner said of his former teammate. "His legacy here, I think, is just how respected he was around our room and around the league and just how much he meant to our team."
Upon his arrival in Toronto, Marleau took the younger Matthews and Marner under his wing. They became travel buddies, and the young phenoms even grew close with Marleau's family.
Our summer nights are 🔥 (side note: boys never grow up) pic.twitter.com/A3rClVfTx1— Christina Marleau (@c_marleau) July 30, 2019
They were both pleased to hear that Marleau wound back up in San Jose.
"He deserved to play somewhere in this league," Marner commented.
"It was great to see that," Matthews said.
Marleau won't have to wait long to make a return to the arena he once called home, as the Sharks travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Oct. 25.
Of course, Marleau has another homecoming to get through first. That would be San Jose's game against Calgary on Sunday, Marleau's second first home game with the team that drafted him.