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Eastern Conference

Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau Returns To San Jose For 1st Time Since Departure

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It will be must-see TV for the NHL when Toronto Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau forward takes the ice against his former team, the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

It will be Marleau’s first game in San Jose and 1st game against his former team after playing the first 19 seasons of his NHL career in San Jose.

Marleau, 38, is the Sharks’ all-time leader in games played (1,493), goals (508) and points (1,082) and there are only six players in NHL history who have played more games with one team than Marleau did with the Sharks.

Opening night this season was the first time San Jose has played a game without Marleau in their lineup since April 7, 2009.

“I don’t know how I’ll react when it happens,” Marleau said recently about returning to San Jose.

“Hopefully there is someone beside me making jokes or something. Keep things light.”

Marleau anticipates a special occasion, one that will be very emotional as well, and expects friends and family to attend the game.

“My wife is taking care of those things,” Marleau said. “I think most of the friends and family who are coming took it upon themselves to take care of themselves.”

“We had some really good teams there and still fell short and didn’t win the Cup,” Marleau said. “I think it just goes to show how hard it is to win it. Everything’s got to line up for you.

“It just gives you something to strive for.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Patty cried at some point on Monday,” Sharks’ Joe Thornton said. “You spend 19 years in a place; well, he’s so beloved out there. The people obviously loved him. I’m sure he’s going to get a really, really warm welcome when he gets back.

“He’s a great human being, a salt-of-the-earth type of guy. He’s just one of the really good guys in the game, and I got a chance to play with him for a long time. I never took it for granted either. I appreciated every day I had the chance to play with him. Phenomenal teammate.”

“I think he’s got a great heart,” Sharks defensemen Brent Burns said.

“He cares for a lot of people. He did a lot for the people in this room, for the city, for the fans. He grew up there, and it’s pretty special. Obviously, we’re going to do something pretty special.

“For me, personally, he was huge for me. He taught me a lot, even just by watching. He didn’t say a lot. He didn’t have to. He had a pretty great personality. He was a pretty good buddy. We had a lot of fun.

“He was quieter, but then again most guys are quieter than Jumbo (Thornton).”

Eastern Conference

Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks

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New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt will be out 2-3 weeks with a broken jaw.

Bratt, 20, was injured Thursday when he was hit in the face by a puck that was shot from the point and deflected off the crossbar.

“It was just a freak accident after practice; he was in the corner and there was a shot that went to the net and it hit the crossbar and inadvertently hit him,” Devils head coach John Hynes said (h/t NHL.com). “He has a fracture and no surgery is needed, so that’s good news. He should be able to continue his physical activity over the course of that time and he’ll be back ready to go when that time comes.”

“It stinks because he’s had a great training camp,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “He was playing better than how he started last year, but he’ll get a chance to come back even stronger. It’s one of those things as a young guy you just have to take in stride, not let it bother you, and just make sure you’re prepared to contribute when you do come back.”

“I met up with him right away after practice Thursday, and you feel so bad for him,” New Jersey forward Marcus Johansson stated. “This is once-in-a-lifetime thing to play an NHL game in Sweden and having family and friends here. He was playing really well, too, and working hard all summer.

“It’s not a fun situation and he’s not happy right now, but he’s a young kid and he has a lot of hockey ahead of him so you don’t want to risk anything by coming back too soon.”

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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie Retiring at End of Season

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Florida Panthers forward Derek MacKenzi will be calling it a career at the end of the 2018-2019 season, according to The Athletic’s George Richards.

MacKenzie, 37, is entering his 18th season and 5th with Florida and stated that he would like to stay involved with the organization when his retirement becomes official.

 

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Eastern Conference

Islanders Name Anders Lee Captain

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The New York Islanders have officially named Anders Lee team captain, who will don the “C” after the departure of former team captain John Tavares during free agency, per an official team announcement.

Lee, 28, is coming off a career year which saw him collect 40 goals.

Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, and Andrew Ladd will serve as the team’s alternate captains.

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