Why Jeremy Roenick thinks Patrick Marleau 'deserves' Sharks return

Why Jeremy Roenick thinks Patrick Marleau 'deserves' Sharks return

Patrick Marleau and Jeremy Roenick go way back, and not in a chummy way. 

The recently re-signed Shark and the current NBC Sports analyst played together for two seasons in San Jose from 2007 through 2009. After Roenick retired, he -- among other things -- called Marleau "gutless" after failing to score in the first five games of a playoff series in 2011, labeled Marleau as one of five players he "hated" during his career in his 2012 memoir, said Marleau was not "one of the (Sharks) locker-room favorites" in 2016 and predicted that Marleau would not score "20-30" goals in his first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017.

But Roenick struck a different tone in an interview with NBC Sports California, saying that Marleau "is not only a fan favorite, but will be a player favorite."

"I think it's a class move by (general manager) Doug Wilson, bringing Patrick back," Roenick said in an interview that will air Thursday on "Sharks Pregame Live" on NBC Sports California. "Not only that, nobody wants to see a Hall of Fame career go out the window without a proper ending ... and Patrick Marleau deserves that, and deserves to do that in the city that, really, he built. I think it's a great play all the way around, and hopefully Patrick can still play at a high level, can still score some goals and help this team."

In particular, Roenick thinks the Sharks will benefit from Marleau's experience. San Jose has three rookies and seven players younger than 25 years old on its roster, and Roenick thinks the team's young players will benefit from Marleau's mentorship. 

Roenick said the Sharks' 0-4-0 start -- their first since 1993-94 -- gave Wilson an opportunity to "shake up the locker room." The losses on the ice necessitated changes, but so did San Jose's losses off of it during the offseason. 

Former captain Joe Pavelski signed with the Dallas Stars on the first day of free agency, and the Sharks were forced to let him walk thanks to their salary-cap situation. Pavelski was the team's leading scorer a year ago, but Roenick said the void he left behind in the locker room can't be overstated. 

“Look what they gave up in Joe Pavelski," Roenick said. "They gave up a 30-goal scorer -- at one time 40-goal scorer. They gave up the captain of their team. That’s the guy everybody looks to. He’s the heart and soul of the team. And they gave up probably one of the nicest guys in the NHL. He’s a guy everybody liked. He’s respectful, soft-spoken but still knows when to say something. And he’s been there his whole career. ... It's very, very difficult to replace [what the Sharks lost in Pavelski] overnight."

[RELATED: Is Marleau signing just start of Sharks moves?]

Marleau scored 16 goals in 2018-19, his fewest in an 82-game season since 1999-00 and 22 fewer than Pavelski scored a year ago. The 40-year-old can't be expected to replace Pavelski's lost production, but Roenick thinks his former teammate can be a steadying force in the Sharks' locker room.

Time apparently does heal all wounds. 

Ever wonder where Sharks' giant head came from? It involves Disney

Ever wonder where Sharks' giant head came from? It involves Disney

Editor's note: Every Tuesday and Thursday during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?" Second up in the series: Where did San Jose's giant shark head come from?

The Sharks have one of the most memorable entrances in all of sports. Skating through the giant shark head at SAP Center is right up there with "Enter Sandman" at Lane Stadium for Virginia Tech football and the run down the hill at Clemson.

But did you ever find yourself wondering where that huge shark head came from?

NBC Sports Bay Area has you covered on that front as Brodie Brazil explains where that massive shark head came from in the second episode of the "Ever Wonder" series.

During their first few years, the Sharks were looking for a way to give their team an epic entrance. They eventually found it, and, of course, Disney was involved.

To find out the whole story, check out the video above.

More from "Ever Wonder"

Sharks' Stefan Noesen dealing with extra uncertainty in coronavirus pandemic


Sharks' Stefan Noesen dealing with extra uncertainty in coronavirus pandemic

Sharks forward Stefan Noesen is isolating with immediate family in his home state of Texas during the coronavirus pandemic.

And he’s slightly bored.

“You can only do so many lunges at your house, so many laps around the neighborhood,” Noesen said with a laugh in a 1-on-1 interview with NBC Sports California on Tuesday.

The NHL’s suspended season is par for the uphill course of Noesen's current campaign.

It began with a professional tryout in the Dallas Stars organization, which didn’t pan out. He then played 22 AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, which led to signing a two-way contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 2nd. They waived him shortly before Christmas.

“This year has been a s---t-show, legit,” Noesen said. “Up until being with the Sharks.”

That turning point definitely happened in San Jose. Even during the Sharks' down season, Noesen came in and earned a role, plus the respect to go along with it.

“First thing I did when I got (to San Jose), was meet with [general manager Doug Wilson],” Noesen said. “He told me what he expected of me, which was honestly nothing but to go out and play my game.”

That game resonated, with Noesen scoring six goals in 34 games. And now, there's a lot of fans who would like to see him re-signed for next season.

“I’ve always believed it’s not that hard to be a good guy,” Noesen said. “All you have to got is be yourself, treat others with respect, and find a way to get along with everybody.”

[RELATED: Sharks' restocked draft picks, college signings offer hope]

There's a lot of uncertainty for Noesen’s career at this point, like when and where he will play hockey next. But these life-changing times have also even made him ponder what comes after the game.

“The world has kind of taken things for granted up until now,” Noesen said. “And I think everyone is kind of taking a step back and realizing the little things are actually important.

“The minute that we’re able to go back to whatever life is after this, I think it will be interesting.“