Scott Hannan

Patrick Marleau can enhance Hall of Fame résumé after trade from Sharks

Patrick Marleau can enhance Hall of Fame résumé after trade from Sharks

Scott Hannan spent over a decade of his NHL career as Patrick Marleau's teammate on the Sharks, so when San Jose sent the 22-year veteran to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional 2021 third-round draft pick Monday, Hannan had a mixed reaction upon hearing the news.

"Obviously, a little bit of shock," Hannan told NBC Sports California. "Seeing Patty come back this year and how well he has played, and obviously he's synonymous with the Sharks -- been here for so long, a leader in so many categories -- but at the same time, you're happy for him to be able to get a chance with a really, really good team to chase the Cup, because the one thing that is missing on a Hall of Fame career is that.

"So, sorry to see him go, but at the same time, happy and hoping that he gets a chance to lift the Cup."

Marleau is headed to a far better situation in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins currently sit two points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. With new teammates like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, he'll be on one of the most talented teams in the league as he attempts to win his first Stanley Cup.

"We all know how hard it is to win the Cup, and I sometimes don't like that conversation," Hannan added. "We know how many things you have to do, the luck, the good teams you have to be on. I mean, before Alex Ovechkin won the Cup, it was always, 'Can he ever do it? Is it about him?' That conversation, you never want to have that one later, and to see him hoist that Cup, I think it would just be a perfect capper to an already historic career."

Hannan views the trade as being beneficial for both sides. While the Penguins get a battle-tested veteran capable of moving up and down the lineup, the Sharks add something of more pressing use to the franchise.

"A third-round pick with an option of a second is a good pick-up, and the Sharks, if this is a mini reset or whatnot, we know you have to stockpile picks, and that's to be able to build for the future. And to be able to do that with Patty ... I like the fit for him in Pittsburgh, let's just call it that."

[RELATED: Before being drafted by Sharks, Marleau rooted for Penguins]

While Hannan believes Marleau will seamlessly fit in with the Penguins, it's worth noting that Marleau will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Might he return to San Jose next year as he closes in on Gordie Howe's all-time NHL record for games played?

"Wouldn't that be a story?" Hannan said. "Patty goes off, wins a Cup and comes back and locks down the most games played. That would be a cool story. Obviously, I would hope for that, but once somebody does move on, you just never know how that's going to fit. I'm not going to throw a percentage out there ... I just want to see Patty go on and have a great playoff run with the Pittsburgh Penguins."

The last -- and only -- time San Jose made it to the Stanley Cup final, it was defeated by Pittsburgh. If the Penguins are fortunate enough to win it all again -- with Marleau rather than against him -- you can be sure Sharks fans will feel differently than the last time around.

Scott Hannan explains how midseason trade affects Brenden Dillon, Sharks

Scott Hannan explains how midseason trade affects Brenden Dillon, Sharks

Scott Hannan was in similar skates as Brenden Dillon over a decade ago. 

The NBC Sports California analyst, then with the Colorado Avalanche, waived his no-trade clause to join the Washington Capitals on Nov. 30, 2010. The pressure was on the Caps to surround their core -- led by young superstars like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom -- with veteran talent that could get them over the hump and lift the franchise's first Stanley Cup. 

The Capitals don't necessarily face that same pressure, as Ovechkin and Co. won Washington's first Cup two years ago. But the hunger to win is still there, and the Capitals acquired Dillon, a physical defenseman much like Hannan was, in order to add to their collection of rings. Hannan's trade to Washington was his first, whereas this is the second time Dillon has been dealt. 

That doesn't make adjusting to a new home any easier. 

"It's difficult. It throws you for a loop, and then you've gotta be on the road with the team and then you've gotta come in and fit into that room," Hannan said Thursday on "Sharks Pregame Live." "It took me a while. Luckily I had the year. We finished off strong, we went into the playoffs, we did well. [I dealt with] a lot with what Dillon's going through right now."

Hannan, like Dillon, had to uproot his life midseason. He recalled needing to find a house and move his family, all as HBO's cameras rolled on the Capitals' locker room for their behind-the-scenes "24/7: Road to the Winter Classic" series ahead of the NHL's signature outdoor game. 

Dillon won't have to worry about cameras from a pay-cable network (at least until the Stanley Cup playoffs), but he quickly must adjust to new surroundings. The 29-year-old made his Capitals debut in an overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, skating alongside Norris Trophy candidate John Carlson. Dillon, Carlson and the rest of the Capitals will have 22 more games down the stretch to develop chemistry and familiarity, while the former Shark acclimates to his new reality. 

Reality will set in the Sharks' locker room, too, according to Hannan. San Jose entered Thursday 12 points back of the Western Conference's final playoff spot, and Dillon's departure will crystalize that San Jose is headed for an early offseason.

"I think when you go through these years ... is it's like things are struggling, but it doesn't really seem real," Hannan said. "I know the coach got fired this year and things like that, but sometimes as players, you're really looking [at] that next game. You always think you've got a chance, but then that moment that trade deadline rolls around and somebody on your team gets traded, it makes it real and it makes it real real quick."

[RELATED: Dillon thanks Sharks fans, San Jose after trade to Caps]

Hannan's last NHL season overlapped with Dillon's first with the Sharks in 2014-15. The former Shark called Dillon a player who, ultimately, is "tough to find and replace." The Sharks -- and their young players -- will miss Dillon's leadership, he said. 

Trades always require a lot of adjustment, but Hannan said his former teammate will be up for the challenge. 

"He's gonna go to a great team ... with a great chance to win the Cup," Hannan said. "He's gonna step right in there, and I know they're gonna get a quality player in Brenden Dillon and Washington's gonna be lucky to have him."

Programming Note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Monday, Feb. 24 at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the Noon deadline? Don’t miss it!

Erik Karlsson injury creates opportunity for Sharks' depth defensemen

Erik Karlsson injury creates opportunity for Sharks' depth defensemen

It would be difficult for the Sharks to find a positive in the wake of Erik Karlsson's season-ending broken thumb.

Their 2019-20 season was lost well before the two-time Norris Trophy joined the ranks of their walking wounded. San Jose faced an uphill climb -- we're talking a 90-degree incline -- to make the playoffs with the defenseman in the lineup down the stretch. Without him, Tomas Hertl (knee; out for the season) and Logan Couture (ankle; out indefinitely), the Sharks are certain to clean out their lockers soon after the April 4 regular-season finale. 

That doesn't mean the season is a lost cause for Karlsson's teammates, particularly those behind him on the defensive depth chart. 

"You're gonna see a situation where a lot of guys get to step up, and see what they can do and prove that they deserve to play in the NHL," former Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan said on Sharks Postgame Live after San Jose's 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. "Sometimes, it's [an] opportunity for other guys, but [it's] just an unfortunate circumstance. When it rains, it pours, and it seems like that's the way it's going for the Sharks right now."

The Sharks recalled Jacob Middleton from the AHL Barracuda before Saturday's game, but defenseman Tim Heed got the first look in Karlsson's absence. The Swedish defenseman skated 14:08, including 1:04 of power-play time. 

Heed had not played since Jan. 16, but was second among Sharks defensemen with two shots on goal Saturday. The 29-year-old seems poised for his longest look in the NHL since making his Sharks debut three seasons ago, and at an opportune time. He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the summer, and he can use the stretch run to prove he's worthy of an NHL look -- whether in San Jose or elsewhere. 

Heed's fellow Swede, despite the injury, doesn't face nearly as much uncertainty. Karlsson is under contract through 2027 after signing a massive eight-year extension this offseason. The 29-year-old will have played in just 109 of a possible 164 regular-season games with the Sharks over his first two seasons in teal, as a groin injury hobbled him down the stretch last year, too.

[RELATED: Kane rips 'ridiculous' NHL Player Safety discipline record]

Karlsson previously sustained a lacerated left Achilles tendon in 2013 and underwent major ankle surgery in 2017. Another lower-body injury would've been much worse news for Karlsson and the Sharks, according to Hannan.

"And on a positive -- not knowing, of course, what the extent of that broken thumb is," Hannan said, "but it's not like it was the groin injury [again] for someone that relies so much on his skating, and his ability to evade checks and get away from people. So hopefully, this thumb injury is not that serious and he's able to just get that thing healed and be ready for the start of the season."

The Sharks will count on Karlsson to be at full strength this fall in order to ensure their playoff drought doesn't last longer than a season. His replacements, starting with Heed, will have plenty of motivation to make an impression in his absence.