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Exit Interview: Marleau Wants to Come Back for His 24th NHL Season

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Patrick Marleau wants to return next year for his 24th NHL season.

Will Marleau, who turns 42 in September, be skating for the San Jose Sharks or another team? He’s looking to add to his 1,779 All-Time Games Played, an NHL record, and his 910 Consecutive Games Played streak. Doug Jarvis holds that record at 964 and Marleau is chasing that milestone with Keith Yandle (922) and Phil Kessel (900).

The impending UFA addressed some of this in this morning’s exit interview, touching on his struggles this year, if returning to San Jose is an option next season, and the injuries he overcame in the latter part of the year. Here are some of the highlights:

Patrick Marleau, on the NHLPA giving him the stick that Gordie Howe used in his last NHL game as a gift:

I was blown away. I’m speechless. The more I think about it, it’s crazy that they gifted that to me and just very thankful and appreciative of the gift, but also the meaning behind it. You’re still kind of speechless. It’s really special.

Marleau, on his season:

I was a very tough, tough season. With everything, with COVID. Personally, I was not happy with my play, with the results I got this year. There were some pretty sleepless nights with that. I’m looking forward to a rebound season next year.

Marleau, on whether or not he wants to come back for another NHL season:

Yeah, I think so. I feel like I still have a lot to give out there, a lot more than what happened this year for myself personally. Points wise. So yeah, I’m eager to have a really good season and get back to playing the way I’m used to.

Marleau, on if the San Jose Sharks are an option for him next year:

I haven’t been able to sit down with Doug yet. But that’s something we’ll discuss together.

Marleau, on if his priority goal when choosing his next team is to win a Stanley Cup:

That’s the ultimate goal. We’ll see how everything plays out. But yeah, that’s always the goal, to win a Stanley Cup.

Marleau, on if he’s open to leaving San Jose to chase a Cup:

Yeah. That would just be part of the process, the journey.

Marleau, on his late-season injuries:

The last eight or so games, I got a high ankle sprain. My groin was a little sore too. I had to numb my ankle for some of those games. I wasn’t at my best towards the end, but still able to get out there.

Marleau, on the possibility of seeing Joe Thornton win a Cup in Toronto:

Yeah, I think obviously our careers have been intertwined for a number of years. Right from our drafts. I would love to see Jumbo win. I wish him all the best things in playoffs.

Marleau, on how special is was to break Gordie Howe’s All-Time Games Played record in a San Jose Sharks uniform:

I think it was extremely special. Having played majority of my games here and we live here year-round. So it’s super special to be able to do it in the Sharks uniform, team that drafted me, team I played most of my career with, fans that I’ve played in front of for so many years. People in the community, friends, family, so it was extremely special and something I’ll be grateful for.

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