Patrick Marleau, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner aren’t just close friends -- they’re family.
The tight-knit group detailed what started their friendship during a recent interview with Sportsnet.
Marleau had been a member of the Sharks for 20 years and was joined by his sons who crashed the interview. One of them was even sporting a Sharks shirt which is even more adorable after Marleau had been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the deadline. The kids ended up being more of the subject as to why Marner formed such a close bond with the Marleau fam.
Marner detailed that he and Matthews would play Mini Sticks for hours with Marleau’s kids. This would go on long enough where they would have to change into another pair of clothes due to the amount of sweat that would produce.
“I think that’s just kind of where the relationship started,” Marner said. “When we started going over there -- just kind of feeling we’re a part of the family."
Matthews mirrored those sentiments.
“Yeah, I’d say it evolved pretty quickly after that,” he explained. “He had us over, and obviously the boys are a blast to hang out with -- I think they like hanging out with us -- always had a good time, Mini Sticks got intense … “
The mini-stick battle had been detailed by Marleau’s wife, Christina, with an adorable photo of the three hockey players and the mini-Marleau’s.
From the 2017-19 seasons, Marleau was with the Toronto Maple Leafs where this bromance began and stayed.
When Matthews was participating in the NHL Accuracy Shooting event during the 2019 All-Star festivities, he unveiled a Marleau jersey underneath the Leafs uniform he was sporting -- in front of the San Jose crowd.
But Marleau has said that despite the trio being family, he respects them when they face one another after the puck drops.
That doesn’t appear to change the way they feel about one another.