This is something I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime. One of the most remarkable records in the history of the NHL belongs to Gordie Howe. Howe is a pioneer of this league and one of the best to ever do it. Howe has many records in this league, but one of his records stands out over the others. He suited up for 1,767 games over his entire NHL career with Detroit and Hartford. There is only one man who could possibly break that record. That man is Patrick Marleau.
Patrick Marleau has been one of the more recognizable names in hockey over the last twenty-plus years. His dedication to the city of San Jose and the Sharks organization is remarkable. Even when the Sharks are in rebuilding mode, Patrick Marleau has stuck with this team. Over the course of his career, Marleau has skated for three teams. Those teams have been the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Tonight, Marleau is making history by skating in his 1,768th game. That breaks Gordie Howe’s all-time record for most games played in NHL history.
Tonight, Patrick Marleau makes NHL history.
— NHL (@NHL) April 19, 2021
The career of Patrick Marleau has been a pleasure to watch unfold over the years. Marleau was the second overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks. The only player in front of him in that draft is Joe Thornton, who was drafted by the Boston Bruins. Marleau found immediate success in his rookie season with San Jose. He managed to put up 13 goals and 19 assists in 74 games played. After that season, Patrick Marleau managed to put together six straight seasons of 20 or more goals. In those seasons, he put up a combined 168 goals.
Over his career, Marleau’s career-high for goals in a season came in the 2009-10 seasons. Marleau managed to rack up a whopping 44 goals in that season. Over the course of his entire career, Marleau has put up 566 goals and 630 assists for 1196 points. He is four points away from 1200 on his career. Marleau has been to one Stanley Cup Final with the Sharks in 2016. That resulted in a loss in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
More Than Just an Offensive Threat
Patrick Marleau is more than just an offensive juggernaut in his career. Marleau isn’t nicknamed ‘Mr. San Jose’ for just shits and giggles. He redefined how hockey should be played in Sharks territory. I would even put him up there as one of the more influential players of the game. He has basically been in San Jose for the entire existence of the franchise.
He was more than just a leader on the ice as well. When he was in Toronto, his family took in Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews as young rookies. This gave them a chance to have a home and to learn from one of the game’s best players. Not every player would do that, but Marleau is a different breed of human. Overall, Patrick Marleau is one of the most humble, genuine players in the history of the league. It is such a shame he hasn’t gotten his name on the Stanley Cup just yet. If he comes back for one more season, I hope he chases the dream and tries for the Cup one last time
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