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Columnist: Sharks should trade Patrick Marleau

Apr 24, 2012, 8:03 PM EDT

Patrick Marleau Getty Images

At this point, it’s become an annual spring tradition to dissect what went wrong with the San Jose Sharks. This is a franchise that has recently assembled several teams that, on paper, looked like Stanley Cup contenders, but never measured up.

The Sharks, to their credit, have constantly tried to reinvent themselves in an effort to win that elusive Stanley Cup. Since their failed 2008 run, they’ve parted ways with coach Ron Wilson, Evgeni Nabokov, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, Christian Ehrhoff, Brian Campbell, and Devin Setoguchi. Meanwhile they’ve added Dany Heatley (who they later traded), Stanley Cup winner Antti Niemi, Dan Boyle, and Brent Burns, to name a few.

They’ve managed to restructure without rebuilding, but it hasn’t worked. Does that mean that even more dramatic steps needed?

Mercury News writer Tim Kawakami said that, while he doesn’t blame Patrick Marleau, he thinks it’s time for him to be traded. Here’s an excerpt from his column:

The Sharks want peace and harmony, they promote the calmer nature and warmer spirit of hockey-dom in the Bay Area, and Thornton has turned into their leading ambassador for all that.

Marleau, though, has become emblematic of the flip side: If not much is always demanded, maybe, when the heat is turned up against tougher teams, not much is always produced.

In other words, the Sharks need a culture change and trading Marleau might be a step in that direction.

It’s worth noting that while Marleau was held pointless during the Sharks’ brief 2012 playoff run, he hass done significantly better in the postseason in the past.

Marleau comes with a $6.9 million cap hit and is inked through the 2013-14 campaign. He also has a no-movement clause. That’s not to say that the Sharks can’t trade him if they want to, but they shouldn’t expect equal value in return.

  1. biasedhomer - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    The Flyers model might actually be a good idea for the Sharks.

    • phillyphever - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      One problem with that: Carter and Richards were both guys entering their primes. Marleau and Thornton aren’t exactly spring chickens, so they might be harder to move and get value in return than what Homer got for Richards and Carter.

  2. ravenscaps48 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    I would LOVE to see Joe Thornton on the Capitals

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Obviously what they’ve got isn’t working. Might be time for a total teardown. They won’t get a huge haul for Thornton or Marleau but there’s at least half a dozen teams that would be interested in adding one of them.

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:53 PM


    This columnist really gambled with telling every hockey fan what they already knew.

    So you say they should trade one of their highest paid ghosts in the playoffs. OH!, okay. good to know.

    • vismund11 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:45 PM

      “ghosts in the playoffs”…I like that. Well put, sir.

  5. sjsharksfan11 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    I’d give anything to get rid of Marleau. Most overrated and softest player. The guy gets away with murder. Everyone bashing Roenick for his comments about the pillow owe the man an apology.

  6. nogoodtomedead - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    I’ve always been a Marleau supporter- he’s had a great career as a Shark, a career which I think many have taken for granted, and I feel like he gets an unfair amount of blame when it comes to the Sharks shortcomings. Its seems like the last few years the general complaint is “Marleau didn’t score.” It has always irked me to blame one player in a sport that so completely requires the entire roster. However I’ve reached this juncture too- a change needs to be made, and Marleau is the only logical piece to be moved. Its for his benefit as well, since I don’t think he should continue to shoulder the blame for team-wide shortcomings year after year. He’s always been a class act, he had the ‘C’ and when they took it from him he rebounded with career years. He’ll always be a favorite Shark of mine, but he needs o be sacrificed to send a message. Although- and this I emphasize- Marleau is a very, very good player- everyone forgets that- and the Sharks will not get value. Thats the cost here.

  7. sjsharks66 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    I love patty, life long shark. However I also would love for the sharks to win the cup. This off season is going to be important. Dan Boyle, Murray, Moore and Mitchell must leave.

    • nogoodtomedead - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      Thank you- speaking of spreading blame- I hate Murray- the man looks like a buffalo on skates, and despite being the Sharks ‘smartest’ player (since he went to Cornell) he is always out of position or getting in his own teams way. Every once in a while he hits somebody so people love him- but he sucks- I can’t believe he’s spent the last few years in the top 4. And Boyle too- I’m so tired or watching him fumble the puck around on the blue-line on the PP- he’s been good- I’m not gonna attack Boyle- but he has had his short-comings as well. I’m more mad at the coaches for not switching up the PK for two years now. It keeps being bad, then they sign good PKer’s from other teams, and its still bad. ITS THE SYSTEM JACKASSES!!! Try something different

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Seems like JR was right after all…

  9. bleed4philly - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Marleau will only get you prospects and draft picks, and not very good ones. That contract will most likely keep him in SJ until the trade deadline next season, and that’s if he wants to leave.

    • fruitsareedible - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      The team does better with mid-late round draft pick anyways. So I’d be fine with that. This is a situation where it’s not what you get back in those trades, it’s what you do with the salary that’s been dumped.

  10. sjsharksfan11 - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    You guys are out of your mind if you think Murray needs to leave. Him and Clowe are what seems to be the ONLY sharks that hit. The Sharks lack toughness. Murray may not be fast but he works hard in the corners and covers the position well. Making claims that he is continuously out of position is ridiculous. I’m at every game; I would know. Sharks fans baffle me

    • nogoodtomedead - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      Murray can stay- he’s fine as a third paring dman- but he shouldn’t get the minutes he’s gotten the last few years. And don’t give me that elitist “I’m at every game” B.S. either- just because I go to a handful of games each year then watch the rest on TV doesn’t mean I don’t know whats going on. What do coaches do? They review tape of the game- try watching a game at home now and then- they do wonderful things with HD. replays, and different camera angles these days. Wherever it is that you sit you aren’t seeing everything, and you certainly don’t see the bad- because home teams don’t show the replays of their players looking like slow-footed morons. And as far as the hitting and toughness argument- I won’t deny the Sharks need a little more of that at times- but the real problems this year? They can’t stop anyone on the power-play (ahem- Murray), and they can’t finish around the net- they have to have the worst scoring touch in the league outside of Couture.

  11. fruitsareedible - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    It’s pretty simple, dump Marleau and Boyle for picks and prospects, and sign Suter and an older, grittier 2nd line winger who puts up 20/20. The Top 6 would still be very solid, the defense would have players playing where they should be instead of slightly higher than they should be. And then, maybe, just maybe fill out the Bottom 6 with people that know what a PK is and get away from a static diamond where you just hope the other team screws up before they score.

  12. sjsharksfan11 - Apr 25, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    They have a terrible scoring touch because Mclellan and his brain dead coaching staff love those perimeter shots mixed with the fact that there’s nobody tough enough to go to the net. I’ll give bad when bad credit is due. Murray deserves none. I know the guy has been playing through injuries…..something I doubt Marleau would ever do. Can’t wait to be rid of him and his stupid smile. Take his no heart game to another team.

  13. ecorstor - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Yes they need to trade #12. He’s a competent player, but he turns into a ghost when the team needs a veteran player to step up and make the big play. He doesn’t seem to want to get his hands dirty. I was shocked when he punched the guy in Game 2 — that’s like a first. He’s very talented, but he lacks aggressive grit by nature. I’ve met him, and he’s a very soft-spoken guy. And lately, he’s invisible. During the regular season I’d focus on watching just him during the game, and it really looked like he drifts a lot, not making much of an impact, not finishing checks with any heart, just mailing it in.

    Overall I think he, and a few others on the team, have just gotten too comfortable. Nobody drives the net. Nobody gets in the goalie’s eyes. It’s all perimeter shooting, and I swear to God, our team makes opposing goalies look like geniuses because they see every damn shot coming at them. And we’re wonderful at helping other players make all sorts of records, like the time we let Chicago have three shorties in one game. We help other teams get off their slumps and losing records. Nice guys, our team.

    But back to Marleau — no hard feelings, but you’ll be better off with a fresh start, and hopefully we can get some fresh young legs that want to work hard in your place. Ben Ferriero, Jamie McGinn (don’t get me started on that one), Torrey Mitchell before he broke his leg — all exciting young players who are trying to make their starts, and are willing to do the dirty work around the net. Hockey is a gritty, difficult game when it’s played to win.

    Just my humble opinion as a coach and as an observer of a very, very frustrating ‘almost-there’ team…
    (and Wilson needs to lay off the botox. his face is like a monty python picture with a moving mouth)

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