The San Jose Sharks have a bit of cap space remaining and over the next little while, I’ll look at which low-cost free agents the Sharks could look to sign in free agency. I’m also doing this list on a guess that Joe Thornton will be back, which would eliminate the need to add a third-line center. This article will focus on Patrick Marleau.
I’d imagine Marleau is one of the more likely free agents to return to San Jose, for obvious reasons. He’s already returned once after leaving, so who’s to say he wouldn’t do it again?
In Marleau’s stint with the Sharks this season, he scored 10 goals and 20 points in 58 games, a pace of 14 goals and 28 points per 82 games. He isn’t a great option for the top-six, but he could be reasonably effective playing on the third-line and would be an upgrade to the Sharks’ bottom-six. Normally I’d be all for younger prospects getting an opportunity instead of a 41-year-old, but we saw how that worked out this season.
Given his age and production, we can be all that certain that he’d only command a one-year deal and on top of that, the AAV likely wouldn’t exceed $1 million. When we’re talking about cheap depth, that’s the kind of affordable move the Sharks need to make.
It’s possible that Marleau could opt to sign elsewhere, based on the fact that San Jose isn’t expected to be a top team in the West next season. However, maybe we see a situation that mirrors this year, where he signs with the Sharks and is dealt at the deadline, giving San Jose a pick and Marleau another chance at a Cup, making it a win-win for both sides.
We don’t know what Marleau’s plans are for next season but if he wants to return to the Sharks, the team would likely welcome him back with open arms.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Would you be in favour of the Sharks bringing back Patrick Marleau?