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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

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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