Back this week for another Whose To Say and today we’re talking about 2 Superstars that were drafted in 1997.
It’s insane to think that Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have been playing in the NHL longer than I’ve been alive. Alas, these two have bee playing in the NHL for 21 seasons now but they’re not the only ones left. Robert Luongo was also drafted in 1997, so was Marian Hossa (technically on the LTIR).
Although Thornton and Marleau have been in the NHL for 21 seasons, both have yet to hoist the Stanley Cup. They were teammates for 10 seasons, 9 of those seasons the Sharks had made it into the playoffs but never finished the job.
Today, we’re going to take a look at each player’s career and compare how far they’ve come.
In Marleau’s career, he’s played in 1,657 regular season games with 551 goals (106 were game winning goals) and 615 assists bringing his point total to 1,166 points. He has 132.2 career point shares and a -13 rating. Marleau has a career average of 18:16 on the ice per regular season. His career faceoff win percentage of 51.4%. Patty also has 503 PIM.
Defensively, Marleau’s stature does a lot of the work. He’s had 333 registered blocks, 938 hits, and 484 takeaways. He’s still got a good eye for defense as well as offense.
In the playoffs, Marleau has played in 191 playoff games over 19 appearances. He’s got 72 playoff goals (16 game winning) and 55 assists with 127 playoff points. In playoffs, Marleau averages 18:56 on the ice with a 49.6% faceoff win percentage. Defensively, he’s blocked 43 shots, 257 hits, and 50 takeaways.
Marleau is fast. Even at 39, he’s still one of the faster forwards on the ice and can blaze past the defense. It gives him an advantage to either score or pass to someone who can get that point. Patty is usually teamed up with the young guns on Toronto, seeing as he can skate with them. His problem is consistence. He tends to hit a wall from time to time but when he’s hot, he’s hot.
Thornton has played in 1,566 regular season games with 413 goals (66 game winning goals) and 1,065 assists. He’s got 1,478 NHL points and has a +205 career rating. Thornton has 159.6 point shares in his career while averaging 19:37 on the ice per game. As a centre, he has a 54.5% faceoff win percentage. Joe has 1,214 PIM.
Defensively, Thornton is smart. He knows how to protect the puck and pick it off other players. Thornton has 317 blocked shits, 617 hits, 781 career takeaways.
Thornton has seen the playoffs 17 times in 174 games. He has 29 playoff goals (8 game winning) and 101 playoff assists, totaling to 130 points. Thornton averages 20:56 on the ice per game with a faceoff win percentage of 55.6%. He’s got 64 blocked shots, 129 playoff hits, and 113 takeaways.
On the ice, Thornton is relentless. He’s talented with the puck and often chooses to pass instead of shoot. He’s also a great play maker on the ice. In his career he’s collected a Hart and Art Ross trophy, both in 2006. He’s a dedicated hockey player for sure and is just a student of the game.
This is a tough one. Both are such legends and are 100% going to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. They’ve been through Hell together and apart.
On this one I have to go with Joe Thornton. Thornton is just, in Brent Burns’ words, a “true rink rat”. Thornton will skate until his feet fall off and they have to drag him off the ice.
He’s one of the faces of hockey. He’s got fire his feet all the time and you can tell that he’s ready for anything the game throws at him. Not to mention, he’ll do just about anything for his team.
Overall, both players are fantastic. They both deserve their names on the Stanley Cup before their careers are over.
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