San Jose Sharks great Patrick Marleau retires after 23 seasons

Patrick Marleau officially hangs up his skates.

The 42-year-old announced his retirement from hockey on Tuesday, closing the book of a 23-year career spent between San Jose, Toronto and Pittsburgh. In 1,779 games, Marleau had 566 goals and 1,197 points, while adding 72 goals and 127 extra points in 195 playoff games.

Marleau played 21 of his seasons with the Sharks, who selected the player from Swift Current, Sask., second overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Although Marleau has never won a Stanley Cup, he holds Sharks franchise records for career games, goals (522), points (1,111), power play goals (163), goals shorthanded (17), game-winning goals (101) and shots (3,953).

On April 19, 2021, Marleau also broke the NHL record for most games played (1,768), which was previously held by Gordie Howe.

The veteran didn’t dress for any team in the 2021-22 season after playing 56 games for San Jose last season.

In a Players’ Tribune article published Tuesday, Marleau reflected on finally stepping away from the game he loves.

“It’s definitely bittersweet, but I have so much to look forward to,” Marleau wrote. “Who knows what the world has in store for me. If you had told that kid on the frozen pond that he would break a games played record held by none other than Gordie Howe, he would have thought you were crazy. That was I never aimed for anything; it was just that I loved this game so much that I never, ever wanted to hang up my skates.”

Marleau also left a special tribute for longtime San Jose teammate Joe Thornton, who was taken one spot ahead of him in the 1997 draft.

“Jumbo and I came into this league together, and I was lucky enough to be able to share the ice with him for more than half of my career,” Marleau explained. “Your positive attitude has always been contagious. Thanks for all the great assists, Joe. You’re not just a teammate, but a lifelong friend.”

Marleau’s success in hockey also goes beyond the NHL. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Canada (in 2010 and 2014) and won gold at the 2003 World Championships and 2004 World Cup.

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