Patrick Marleau, the 40-year-old centre who played 2 seasons in Toronto and adopted two 20-year-olds in that time, made his return to Scotiabank Arena -the Maple Leafs Home base- since being traded, bought out, and signed to San Jose this off season.
Marleau played in his 1664th game, but it was his 1,500th game as a San Jose Shark. During the 164 games out of San Jose, he played 2 full seasons with Toronto and had 84 points (43 G 41 A).
Marleau also became close friends with Toronto’s young stars Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, becoming almost like a Dad away from home. The three were reunited tonight. Before puck drop, the trio lined up for a photo.
Marleau also received a standing ovation from the crowd and Leaf players during the game. Sportsnet caught the video and you can watch it here. The Maple Leafs also shared this video recapping Marleau’s time in Toronto.
The Sharks ended up losing 4-1 but it was still a warm welcome back for the beloved player. You can tell that Toronto is missing a player like Marleau on their bench right about now; a veteran that can be relied on both on and off the ice. The Leafs have Jason Spezza but he is scratched from time to time. In his last season with Toronto, Marleau averaged 16:21 a game and had 2.5 point shares.
The Leafs now have broken even with a 6-4-2 record but there is still a long season to battle through. The Sharks aren’t much better off at 4-6-1 so far.
Featured Image: NBCSports