The first step in Patrick Marleau's potential return to San Jose has been complete.
On Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded the 39-year-old to the Carolina Hurricanes along with a conditional 2020 first-round pick and a 2020seventh-round pick for a sixth-round pick in 2020.
.@SportChek Player Alert: The @MapleLeafs have acquired a 2020 sixth-round pick from Carolina in exchange for Patrick Marleau, a conditional first round pick (2020) and a seventh round pick (2020).
Details >> https://t.co/5A24Knvfbz pic.twitter.com/vu4M2sUgfX— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) June 22, 2019
Can you say cap dump?
Marleau, who reportedly wishes to return to the Sharks, might not be in the Metropolitan Division for very long, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.
Patrick Marleau waives his NMC for trade to Carolina and will be bought out by #hurricanes. He'd like to return to San Jose in free agency.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 22, 2019
The 'Canes, however, reportedly would like to try to convince the veteran forward to play for them before sending him on his way, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
Hurricanes will try to convince Marleau to play for them but if the answer is No they will buy him out and make him UFA.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 22, 2019
While it has been reported that the Sharks might have interest in a potential reunion with Marleau, they first must figure out their own free agency situation.
After signing Erik Karlsson to a massive eight-year extension, the futures of Joe Pavelski, Gustav Nyquist, Joonas Donskoi -- all of whom are set to be unrestricted free agents -- still are up in the air. Timo Meier and Kevin LaBanc also are set to be restricted free agents, so the Sharks probably wouldn't commit any assets to Marleau until the dust of free agency has settled.
[RELATED: Report: Donskoi tells Sharks he'll explore free agency]
But it is starting to look like a reunion between the Sharks and Marleau actually is possible.