Pierre LeBrun tweeted this morning that it seems like the Toronto Maple Leafs are shopping 21-year veteran Patrick Marleau to the LA King. Marleau still has one more season on his contract and has a No Movement Clause tacked onto it with a $6,250,000 Cap Hit.
This off season, the Maple Leafs have a number of good players going up for free agency: Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, Tyler Ennis, Jake Gardiner. So Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas is really in a pinch about who to resign and how he can save so many talented players. Marleau would have to waive his NMC in order to be traded but today,let’s talk about why the Leafs should look at keeping a veteran like Patty Marleau.
After 2 seasons with the Maple Leafs, Marleau has played in all 82 games in each season, for 164 games, with a total of 84 points. Marleau averages 16:40 on the ice per game with Toronto, and although those might not be huge numbers he still means a great deal to the organization and it’s players.
With Marleau you get two very important things: Aged Talent and Veteran Leadership.
When it comes to Marleau’s talent, the guy is a rocket even at 39 years old. He’s been around the game longer than most of his teammates have been alive. He’s been through every situation and it helps him stay levelheaded on the ice. He’s played in 191 playoff games in his career so he’s handy in those situations as well. In the two seasons that Marleau has been with the Maple Leafs, the team has made it to playoffs. Although they’ve fallen in the first round both times, they’ve been guided heavily by a player like Marleau.
His leadership isn’t just on the ice. Patty has bonded with the younger players and really taken them under his wing. He has a close friendship with Young Gun Superstars Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. Having a player who has been in the league so long and played through so much is a great thing to have when it comes to figuring out life and hockey. If a player needed some help with a certain play or even a situation off the ice, for example, it’s helpful to have a player like Marleau to help them out considering he’s been through almost everything.
Overall, the Cap Situation is tight and going to be tough to maneuver but keeping a player like Marleau can be important for the team’s future success.