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Is Marleau Planning on Going Back to the Sharks?

While he plays for the Penguins, is Patrick Marleau thinking about a return to the San Jose Sharks next season?

Patrick Marleau was one of over 30 different hockey players moved at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. He approved a trade that sent him from the San Jose Sharks to the Pittsburgh Penguins and should give him a chance to win a Stanley Cup this season if the Penguins can get of this losing funk they’re in.

The Marleau trade was a little surprising because it wasn’t just a few months ago, he’d made it clear he only wanted to play for the San Jose Sharks. Over the summer, he was traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Carolina Hurricanes in a cost-cutting move, then bought out by that organization. Knowing where he wanted to go, he waited, turning down other offers to play until the Sharks signed him part way into the season.

It seems logical to wonder, ‘Why accept a trade to Pittsburgh if you only want to play in San Jose?’

When asked that question, Marleau admitted that returning to San Jose in the off-season might be a possibility. He told Mercury News’ Curtis Pashelka, “Yeah, I think the door’s open maybe to come back,” said Marleau. “I definitely would like to play another season, so that would be good.”

The door may be open, but whether the Sharks are keen to have him back next season is another story. They were slow in signing him this season even though he was decent contributor as the campaign moved along. Still, he finished with only 20 points in 58 games, and the Sharks didn’t make the playoffs. His game isn’t where it once was, making him anything but a shoe-in to be signed next summer.

So too, while the Sharks are not going to be a rebuilding team, if they were slow to sign him this season, how much will they want to think about it next year? Obviously, he’s a cheap option, playing at the NHL’s league minimum, but that doesn’t make him a guarantee to be signed.

Related: Lehner Talks Exit From Blackhawks, Says He Was On the “Bench for No Reason”

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