It’s going to be weird to see Patrick Marleau not in a Sharks uniform

I’m still getting over the news that Patrick Marleau is not coming back to the Sharks.

The news hit me and even though I knew there was a chance he might leave, I didn’t know how I would be able to handle the reality of it.

It’s an off feeling because I had been preparing myself for this for a while. It seemed like every offseason for the past decade was filled with rumors whether or not the Sharks would blow up the team, thus moving on from Marleau. But every year the team kept him around and I was hopeful that they would win the Stanley Cup last year. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Still, I always thought that if Marleau were to leave the Sharks, it would be a front office move. I never thought Marleau would leave on his own accord. I always believed that he would want to stay here for the remainder of his career.

But here we are and Marleau has taken a deal with the Maple Leafs that would pay him some good money the Sharks couldn’t compete with. (His new teammate Auston Matthews wasn’t even born when Marleau was drafted in 1997.)

What do you say to a guy who gave his all to the team even when former teammates slam you? To the guy who has been a local celebrity who never acted like he was bigger than everyone else? To a man who was the face of the franchise for so long and wore every uniform in team history.

To the man who gave so much to the team, scored so many points and had so many assists, I wish him well. I wish it didn’t have to end this way but this is part of the business of sports.

He gave his all to the team. We will give him the greatest standing ovation when the Maple Leafs come to San Jose on October 30.

Thank you, Patty.

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