Patrick Marleau shows that age is just a number when it comes to speed
Patrick Marleau found himself in an unusual scenario heading into his 20th NHL season. It was his first season with a team other than the San Jose Sharks. After all of those years in sunny California, Marleau packed his bags and bought a parka. He was now headed to the Toronto Maple Leafs on a three-year, $18.75 million contract.
But why would he opt for such a drastic change in scenery? “It was the team, the excitement that’s around it, the youth, the coaching staff, the coach, the management, the way they see the game going and the players they have on their roster, it’s extremely exciting to be a part of that,” Marleau explained to reporters (h/t Sportsnet).
After seeing what the Leafs have accomplished this season, it’s hard to criticize his optimism. There have been lackluster team performances and their 11-9-4 record since December first is a bit concerning; however, they still comfortably sit third in the Atlantic Division with 61 points.
There have been many things going well for the Leafs this season and Patrick Marleau is one of them. He’s on pace to score around 25 goals and 14 of the 16 that he’s potted so far have been at even-strength. Marleau has also scored five game-winning goals and has taken on different roles for Mike Babcock this year, including playing centre and seeing time on the powerplay.
It’s been a few years, but it’s not the first time that Marleau has played for Babcock. (h/t Zimbio)
From a possession stats standpoint, Marleau has also been excelling. He has 22 takeaways and only 18 giveaways. His CF% is a respectable 49.7% even though he has been absolutely buried in defensive zone starts (57.4 dZS%). He has also managed to rack up 56 hits, 15 blocked shots, and has won 54.3% of his face-off attempts. Even at the age of 38, Marleau is reminding everyone why he’s been nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy on four separate occasions.
Although Marleau has performed well as a centre, he has looked his best while on Nazem Kadri’s wing. Marleau has great finishing ability and his chemistry with the playmaking Kadri is uncanny. With 524 goals and 1107 points to his name, Patrick Marleau has achieved a lot in his NHL career. After all of those years of infamous playoff choking in San Jose, will his next achievement finally be a Stanley Cup?
Penguins Sign Oula Palve
Palve’s new deal is for the league minimum $700K and includes a $92.5K signing bonuses. There are also games-played incentives that could total $132.5K.
Palve is coming off a solid season withTPS Turku in the Finnish sm-Liiga , leading the team with 16 goals and 35 assists in 53 games.
Caps’ T.J. Oshie Likely Out For The Playoffs
The Washington Capitals will be without winger T.J. Oshie for whjat appears to be the entire postseason, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan and Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.
Oshie’s injury is being termed as an upper-body issue by the team, but Oshie was seen in a sling following a hit from Carolina Hurricanes winger Warren Foegele.
Despite the hit, the Department of Player Safety opted not to hand anything down in terms of discipline on Foegele.
Red Wings Hire Steve Yzerman
Current general manager, Ken Holland, will move to a position called Senior Vice President and has inked a multi-year contract extension to remain with the club, according to TSN’s Gord Miller.
Yzerman stepped down from his role as GM of the Lightning in September but he is largely responsible for building the roster that led Tampa Bay to a President’s Cup this season, matching the NHL record for wins in a single season, posting a 62-16-4 record this past season.
Yzerman could be bringing some members of the Lightning front office to Detroit with him, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
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