Patrick Marleau

Columnist: Sharks should trade Patrick Marleau


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.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?