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Game Preview/Lines #28: Sit or Trade Marleau?

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Credit: Sheng Peng

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Morning Skate

Patrick Marleau is actually working on two significant NHL records.

Of course, Marleau is closing in on Gordie Howe’s All-Time Game Played record. At 1,750, he’s just 18 games away from passing Howe’s 1,767.

Receiving much less fanfare, but perhaps as impressive, Marleau is also chasing Doug Jarvis’s Most Consecutive Games Played streak. He’s farther behind here: At 881, he’s 84 games away from passing Jarvis’s 964. Among active players, Keith Yandle is ahead of him at 895.

Does one record hold more significance to Marleau than the other?

“Winning a Stanley Cup, obviously, is the biggest goal,” the always-humble Marleau offered. “But other than that, it’s just mainly playing well each and every night to try and help the team win. The old saying, but that’s the most important thing.”

For Bob Boughner, the answer is obvious: “The consecutive games is, you know, credit to dedication and fitness. I always say that guy just knows how to take care of himself. And he’s the ultimate pro and a great example for the young guys.

“But for me, that record of all-time games played, beating Gordie Howe, may never be broken again.

“That goes down in the history books and is going to be something that his kids will be able to celebrate with their families. What he’s done in his career, to break that kind of record will be one of the most amazing things I’ll be a part of, just watching it.”

But will Boughner be watching it? If Marleau’s chief goal is indeed winning the Stanley Cup – that’s not likely to happen with the 11-13-3 San Jose Sharks.

“It’d be great. Yeah, great, if we could get get ourselves in a playoff position here. And we got to go on a roll these next few games,” Marleau said. “It would mean a lot to [break the record] in a Sharks jersey.”

So what if San Jose doesn’t go on a roll? Would Marleau welcome a new home at the Trade Deadline? Right now, Marleau is scheduled to break Howe’s record on Apr. 19 in Las Vegas, one week after the Deadline.

Another interesting point: If the priority is the All-Time Games Played record, would it make sense to sit Marleau from time to time? He can still achieve that milestone this season, though at the expense of the Most Consecutive Games Played mark.

It seems a sacrilegious thing to even suggest healthy scratching the Sharks legend, but Marleau isn’t as impactful as he was last year, when his game was already slipping. He’s still playable, don’t get me wrong, but an occasional rest could keep the 41-year-old’s legs fresh and give younger players a little more ice time.

But perhaps this makes more sense if the San Jose Sharks fall completely out of the playoff picture – if Marleau is still on the roster then.

Boughner does seem to think that Marleau is still part of the best-possible winning formula for San Jose, over youngsters like Noah Gregor or Joachim Blichfeld or others. Without saying so, Marleau’s usage suggests as much.

“Patty’s game now, I don’t judge him any differently than I would any other player,” Boughner said. “You know, Patty still has good legs. I think he’s still got a lot to offer and his strengths can help us.”

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Zeke

I don’t think the team will ever bench Marleau for the reasons it the article. Nor will he be traded. I can’t imagine the market for him is significant. He’s in the line-up to break Howe’s record and at season’s end, call it a career. If it wasn’t for the records, I’m not sure he’d even be in the league right now. As for sitting him, that wouldn’t be to save Marleau’s legs. He’s getting only 13 minutes a night. It’d be to get more younger players in the line-up. And it doesn’t do much if its just a game… Read more »

jamnjon

I agree. I’ve mentioned this previously elsewhere but Marleau breaking the games played record ~ a week after leaving the Sharks at the TDL would be a slap in the face to Sharks fans after he got his 1500th game in just his 7th game with Toronto. If the return in a trade was good I could see it making sense but considering last season he got a 3rd (upgraded to a 2nd if a cup was won) and his numbers this season are considerably worse than last season (1-4-5 through 28 go vs 10-10-20 through 58 go with the… Read more »

jamnjon

That was supposed to be “gp” in both cases, not “go”. I want paying attention and didn’t notice the autocorrect. My bad.

[…] Game Preview/Lines #28: Sit or Trade Marleau? […]

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