The possibility of change, including some of their veteran core players, has gripped hold of the San Jose Sharks for a while, ever since another playoff failure earlier this spring.
The term ‘rebuild’ has been thrown around, with San Jose general manager Doug Wilson recently saying the Sharks are a “tomorrow team.” With his client’s future in San Jose up for debate, Joe Thornton’s agent said the towering center, about to enter a three-year deal worth a cap hit of $6.75 million per season, only wants to play for the Sharks.
Now it’s Patrick Marleau’s turn to make a similar statement. Marleau, 34 years of age and about to enter a three-year deal with a cap hit of $6,666,667 million, has played his entire NHL career in San Jose.
“I want to play in San Jose,” Marleau told Nicholas Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports. “I want to win there.”
The Sharks had a chance to win this past season. They finished the season with 111 points, fourth in the overall Western Conference standings, and had the L.A. Kings on the ropes in the opening round, up three-games-to-none on the eventual Stanley Cup champions before the collapse.
The Sharks had experienced playoff failure before. This was of epic, historical proportion.
“I look at it as what I have to do as a player, what we have to do. Obviously it’s a big kick in the gut,” Marleau told Yahoo Sports.
“You have to get refocused, come back even that much more motivated in the off-season training and for next year, and I think we’re going to learn a lot about a lot of players coming back this next year after losing the way we did.”