The Patrick Marleau vs. Jeremy Roenick feud has gone from hot…to scorching.
On Tuesday, the Sharks forward responded to critiques in Roenick’s new book by saying allegations of him not caring are false.
“To say that I don’t care about my play or winning or being gutless is absurd,” Marleau told the San Jose Mercury News via text message. “I wouldn’t have left home at 14 years old to play a game I didn’t care about. I want to win more than anyone.
“Just because I don’t jump up and down acting like a buffoon on the ice doesn’t mean I’m not into it.”
Roenick’s book, J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey, includes a list of “Five Players I Hated During My Career.”
Roenick put Marleau on the list — behind Rob Ray, ahead of Steve Ott — in what was the latest in a series of snipes.
In 2011, Roenick blasted the ex-Sharks captain for a “gutless, gutless performance” in a playoff loss to Detroit.
In 2009, Roenick — then a teammate of Marleau’s in San Jose — drove to Marleau’s house one evening to confront him about a perceived lack of effort.
“What no one seems to understand is that I believe Marleau is a special talent . . . Marleau frustrated me when I played with him because I wanted more from him. He was earning $6.9 million per season and I just didn’t believe he brought the superstar effort that you would expect from that caliber of player.
“I tried to tell him that that night, but I could tell 10 minutes into our conversation that I was wasting my time. He considered my arrival at his house an intrusion. He listened to me, but he never did anything to change the way he was.”
Marleau said he remembered the incident, but had a different take on it.
“For anyone to think they are trying to ‘inspire’ me by coming to my home and giving me their two cents is comical,” he explained. “I will always welcome constructive criticism from my teammates, but I don’t have time for the ones who have their own agenda or are just trying to make themselves sound better.”