After months of negotiations and public speculation on Marleau’s future, he finalized a deal two weeks before training camp opens to stay with the club that drafted him in 1997.
Marleau’s extension finishes a busy summer for general manager Doug Wilson, who also signed forwards Joe Thornton and Milan Michalek and defenceman Craig Rivet to long-term extensions.
Marleau, a two-time all-star who has one year and US$4.5 million left on his current contract, was San Jose’s second-leading scorer last season with 32 goals and 46 assists while centering the Sharks’ second line.
He also became the Sharks’ franchise leader in points (491), goals (219) and assists (272) last season, surpassing former captain Owen Nolan in all three categories. Marleau, who has been with the Sharks since he was an 18-year-old rookie in the 1997-98 season, also passed Mike Rathje for the franchise record in games played (717).
But Marleau struggled in the playoffs, going scoreless with a minus-5 rating in the Sharks’ six-game series loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the second round. Coach Ron Wilson was publicly critical of his captain, who accepted blame for the Sharks’ exit after the NHL’s fifth-best regular season.
Marleau then was surrounded by trade rumors when negotiations over his extension stretched through the summer, with the Montreal Canadiens reportedly eager to swing a deal. But Marleau always said he wanted to stay in San Jose, his wife’s hometown and the Saskatchewan native’s adopted home.