Marleau calls it a career, retires after 23 NHL seasons

  • Programming note: Watch Patrick Marleau's retirement press conference live in the MyTeams app at 11 a.m. PT, and airing on NBC Sports California at approximately 5 p.m. after the conclusion of A's game coverage.

The greatest player in Sharks history is calling it a career.

After 23 seasons in the NHL, Patrick Marleau officially announced his retirement Tuesday morning in an essay he penned in the Players' Tribune

"Today, I announce my retirement from hockey," Marleau wrote. 

"It’s bittersweet for sure, but I have so much to look forward to. Who knows what the world has in store for me. If you would have 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. It was never something I aimed for; it was just me loving this game so much that I never, ever wanted to hang up my skates."

Marleau, who didn't play during the 2021-22 NHL season, spent the first 19 seasons of his career with the Sharks before playing two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to the 2019-20 season, he returned to San Jose on a one-year contract and then was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline as the Sharks tried to help him win a Stanley Cup.

Marleau came back to the Sharks prior to the 2020-21 season for a third tour of duty in San Jose.

Marleau originally planned to play a 24th season but he never signed with a team and ended up sitting out the just-completed season.

Just over a year ago, on April 19, 2021, Marleau played in his 1,768th career game, breaking the NHL record previously held by Gordie Howe. Marleau finished with 1,779 career games played, with 1,607 coming in teal.

Mr. Shark's name is all over San Jose's record book, as he is the franchise's leader in career games played, goals (522), points (1,111). power-play goals (163), short-handed goals (17), game-winning goals (101) and shots (3,953).

Marleau never achieved his dream of hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup, but he helped guide the Sharks to 17 playoff appearances, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 where they lost to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored 68 goals and recorded 52 assists (120 points) in 177 career postseason games with San Jose. Marleau also went to the playoffs in all three seasons away from San Jose.

RELATED: Marleau gets incredible gift from Gordie Howe's family

Marleau officially has hung up his skates, and soon enough, the Sharks will retire his number and raise it to the rafters at SAP.

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