We’ve heard a great deal over the past couple of years about the San Jose Sharks potentially blowing up their aging core in order to acquire young talent and build up the overall level of their club. That hasn’t happened, as names like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dan Boyle have managed to stay put.
The Sharks can thank several consecutive playoff appearances for that, as they continue to be one of the Western Conference’s better clubs during the regular season. Heading into the 2013-14 season, we could be potentially seeing the last of Thornton or Marleau in a Sharks sweater.
If there’s one more likely to be in his final season with the team than the other, it’s probably going to be Marleau. Thornton still plays a great two-way game at a premium position. Marleau is coming off of a season in which he had a rough second half, and is heading into the final year of his deal.
Marleau finished the 2013 regular season with 31 points in 48 games, a disappointing total for a player of his caliber. More disappointing is the way that he started off the season, only to falter as the Sharks saw their offensive output go down the drain after the first quarter of the year.
After posting 14 points in the first six games of the season, nearly half of his total for the year, Marleau fell off the map. He notched only four points in February, and with the exception of a five-game point streak in the middle of March, he didn’t provide much in terms of consistency for the Sharks.
Another season like that could spell the end for Marleau in San Jose. They could try and deal him at the deadline, but for a team that doesn’t exactly have a ton of money to work with, and will have extensions kick in for Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture in 2014-15, he might be looking for a new home.