Patrick Marleau is calling it a career. In an announcement via the Players’ Tribune titled “Thank You, Hockey,” Marleau announced his retirement from the NHL after playing 23 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Marleau, who didn’t play during the 2021-22 season, spent 21 of his 23 seasons with the Sharks after being selected with the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft by the franchise. In 1,779 career games, he recorded 1,197 points (566 goals and 631 assists) and added 72 postseason goals in 195 playoff games.
Marleau, 42, leads the NHL with the most games played in league history — with a 12-game edge over Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe. He passed Howe for the top spot on the NHL’s most games played list on April 19, 2021.
The former Sharks forward tops the team’s all-time list in goals (522), points (1,111), power play goals (163), game-winning goals (101), shorthanded goals (17) and shots (3,953). Marleau also became the youngest player in NHL history to play 1,000 games with one team on Jan. 17, 2011.
“It’s bittersweet for sure, but I have so much to look forward to,” Marleau wrote. “Who knows what the world has in store for me. If you would have told that kid on the frozen pond that he would break a games-played record held by none other than Gordie Howe, he would have thought you were crazy. It was never something I aimed for; it was just me loving this game so much that I never, ever wanted to hang up my skates.”
Marleau didn’t get a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup, but he did win two Olympic gold medals with Canada in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. The former Sharks forward also appeared in three All-Star Games across his decorated career.