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Marleau believes contracting changes would hinder GMs

Nov 18, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Patrick Marleau Getty Images

San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau has been outspoken on various CBA issues – and Jeremy Roenick – already lately, but he provided a rather surprising take to CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz on Saturday.

Marleau told Kurz that he believes contracting rules (such as a five-year maximum) would hurt NHL GMs rather than help them.

“I think it would be tough for any team to work under those conditions,” Marleau said. “The salary cap already kind of hindered GMs and what they could do, so you would just be handcuffing them that much more.”

Kurz agrees that some teams might agree, but Marleau’s own Sharks could benefit from the owners’ proposed alterations.

The Sharks have just seven players signed after the 2013-14 season, and four of those will be in the last year of their current deal in 2014-15 (Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Adam Burish are the only players signed after that). A logical case can be made that San Jose is one of the teams pushing for more restrictive contracting rules in order to be more competitive in the free agent market, although an NHL gag order prohibits the team from discussing anything related to the lockout.

However that shakes out, Marleau shares teammate Dan Boyle‘s fears about the damage the lockout might cause.

“Yeah, definitely. I think there’s already been damage and you’re going to lose fans,” Marleau said. “From where we were at, we’ve taken steps backwards. I think the game was going this way, up and up and up, and where it goes from here … there’s going to be a lot of things that need fixing once we do get back to playing.”

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