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."
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.