Thursday, February 2, 2017

Patrick Marleau Scores Goal No.500

Patrick Marleau became the 45th player to score his 500th NHL goal on Thursday night in Vancouver.

The seven-time 30-goal scorer took a feed from Joe Pavelski and rifled a shot past Ryan Miller for his 19th of the season on the power play, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

The Sharks currently lead 3-1 late in the third.

Update: Sharks win, 4-1.

Marleau, 37, is on pace to score 30 goals this year at a time that many thought he was way past his prime.

The Saskatchewan native is the first Sharks player to ever hit the 500-goal mark.

Many thought that Marleau, who is in the final year of his contract, might be a player that was on the trading block in San Jose, but judging from these comments from Sharks GM Doug Wilson, it seems San Jose brass is pretty happy to have him in the fold. Red-hot Marleau has scored seven goals in his last four games--maybe an extension is more likely?

"This guy, genetically, he’s gifted," Wilson told the San Jose Mercury News. "You take a look at his body. But the work he puts in and how he can still skate. I think our team, we’re the sum of all our parts and when you start getting pieces back, you kind of get mismatches, too. We can move lines around."

Marleau, along with fellow veteran Joe Thornton, is set to become a UFA in July. Each earns well over $6 million. Both are pivotal members of this year's team and neither will be going anywhere this season. As far as next year, it's anybody's guess. But if the Sharks can get each to sign at a lower price while providing them with the same quality of hockey, it might give the team a little more money to spend under the cap.

Here's some more of Wilson's comments on his two aging but effective stars:

“I see things very simply — the same way we’ve had discussions with them — is we’re focused on this year. They’re tremendously important players to us. Have been for a long time. Elite level fitness. Any contract or any discussions that we have, because it’s not just them, there’s other players, too, and that epitomizes what kind of team-first players they are. We don’t discuss contracts publicly for that very reason, out of respect to everyone.”