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Iron Man Marleau Makes it 500 Goals
Has it really been almost 20 years since he came to San Jose?
2/2/17 - By Paul Krill -

On January 23, Patrick Marleau entered the game having scored 493 goals in his career. Just 10 days later, he now has 500. Wow. He made quick work of that, tallying four goals in one period alone against the Avs on the 23d , followed by a game-winner one night later in Winnipeg and a goal against Chicago on January 31. He then scored number 500 on February 2 in Vancouver.

It would have been nice to see him score it at home but I'll take it, with Marleau scoring #500 in the same building where Evgeni Nabokov became the only Sharks goalie to ever score a goal, in 2002. According to the stats shown on TV, Marleau tallied number 500 in his 1463rd game (all with the Sharks), becoming the 17th player to score them all with one team and the 45th player overall in league history to reach this milestone.

I remember when the Sharks drafted Marleau second overall when he was still just 17 years old in 1997. He's now 37 years old and has literally spent most of his life as a Shark. He rarely misses a game and would have played even more games over his career if not for the league shutting down for a season-and-a-half due to lockouts in 2004-05 and 2012-13.

The elephant in the room, though, is that Marleau is unsigned for next season. Do the Sharks bring both him and Joe Thornton (drafted just ahead of Marleau in 1997) back next season and risk erosion of skills as they push closer to age 40? Sentimentality says absolutely. Business sense might say something else. I'm glad I'm not paid to make these decisions.

Of course, we'd love to see these two guys both win a Stanley Cup in San Jose before it's over and they both hopefully get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Scoring number 500 at least gets Marleau into the Hall of Fame conversation.

. . .Penalty Shots. .So I'm approaching the Whole Foods store right near SAP Center last Saturday wondering if there might be a Shark lurking inside. As I'm finishing this thought, who comes walking out of the place but Tomas Hertl, who scored the winning goal in the next game... Quite a hefty price increase on my tickets for the Sharks next season.

I guess this is what we get when the team almost wins the championship - prices will go up. . .Sharks TV broadcaster Randy Hahn just said he expects Marleau to be the first Shark to have his number retired. So do the Sharks retire number 12, which he wears now, or his original number 14?...Is it me or does it seem like the first puckhandler on Sharks power players is almost always goaltender Martin Jones, since the Sharks lose the faceoff and the puck gets sent down the ice?

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