Lasting two full decades, the Patrick Marleau era in San Jose has come to an end.
The 37-year-old winger, drafted by the Sharks with the second overall pick in 1997, signed a three-year deal worth $18.75 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, concluding his storied run in the Bay Area.
It’s believed that the Sharks’ offer was not equal to what the Leafs were offering.
Earlier Saturday, it was learned that Marleau’s longtime teammate and fellow unrestricted free agent Joe Thornton would return to the Sharks on a one-year deal.
Marleau departs as the franchise leader in games played (1,493), goals (508) and points (1082). He is fifth in the NHL is goals among active players, and his 270 goals since the start of the 2008-09 season is sixth in the league. Marleau’s 98 career game-winning goals is ninth all-time in the NHL, and he is one of just three NHL players to have at least one game-winning goal against every NHL team.
In 2016-17, Marleau’s 19th season in the NHL, he finished with 27 goals and 46 points in 82 games. He has played in 624 consecutive games.
Marleau scored his 500th career goal on Feb. 2 in Vancouver, and scored four goals in the third period of a game on Jan. 23 at Colorado, becoming the first player to score four times in one period since Mario Lemieux in 1997.
Marleau is a three-time NHL All-Star (2004, 2007 and 2009) and has won two gold medals with Team Canada at the Olympics in 2010 and 2014. He was named as the Sharks’ player of the year for the 2003-04, 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, and was voted as the fan favorite for three straight seasons from 2010-11 to 2012-13.