Over the course of his long NHL career, San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau has been mentioned several times in trade rumors. Now in his 18th season with the Sharks, the 36-year-old is once again the subject of speculation.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports Marleau's name has surfaced in trade talk, though it's uncertain who's pushing for the move. Friedman notes Marleau, who's carrying a $6.66-million annual cap hit through 2016-17, hasn't been asked by management to waive his no-movement clause.
Local reporters subsequently questioned Marleau, who joked the rumors were starting early this season. He claims he wasn't approached about waiving his clause and refuses to speculate over any scenario where he would consider that option.
Following the Sharks first-round elimination from the 2014 playoffs, there was some media chatter regarding Marleau's future in San Jose. It briefly surfaced against last summer after the Sharks missed the 2015 post-season. Observers noted the decline in his performance through 2014-15, wondering if he'd consider moving on to a Stanley Cup contender.
The latest Marleau trade talk is likely tied to the club's current performance. After a solid start to this season, the Sharks enter this week having won only three of their last 10 games. Marleau netted five points during that stretch.
Some rival clubs could be calling Sharks GM Doug Wilson to inquire about the veteran winger's availability. Wilson could also be floating Marleau's name to see if there's any serious bidders. His cap hit alone, however, could make it difficult to find a willing trade partner this early in the season.
Marleau still has complete control of this situation. If he's unwilling to waive his movement clause under any circumstances, it won't matter if management is shopping him or how many teams express interest in his services.
FLAMES' POOR START COULD LEAD TO CHANGES
Approaching mid-November, the Calgary Flames are still struggling to overcome their poor start to this season. With a 5-9-1 record heading into Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers, the Flames face the risk of falling completely out of the playoff race before Christmas if they don't soon pull out of their tailspin.
Trade rumors continue to dog the club, with defensemen Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell prominently featured. The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports GM Brad Treliving continues to gauge their market value.
Wideman carries a full no-movement clause and an annual cap hit of $5.25 million through 2016-17, making him very difficult to move at this point in the season. Russell, meanwhile, is a pending UFA lacking a movement clause and carrying a more affordable $2.6 cap hit. He could be easier to trade, but there's speculation Treliving prefers to re-sign him.
Should the Flames remain out of playoff contention leading up to the Feb. 29 trade deadline, Treliving could put some of his UFAs on the trade block. Winger Jiri Hudler is the best of the bunch. He lacks a no-trade clause and is coming off a career-best 76-point season.
While Hudler has 11 points in 15 games thus far, the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis notes the 31-year-old winger's been largely invisible of late. Francis suggests he's not only costing the Flames a playoff berth, but also a chance for a good return if they opt to deal him at the deadline.
The Flames still have plenty of time to reverse their fortunes. Of late, they've shown some signs of improvement, winning three of their last five. However, they'll have to keep looking to within for improvement. It doesn't appear any help is coming via the trade market.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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