Patrick Marleau signed a one-year contract Tuesday to return to the San Jose Sharks. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 41-year-old forward scored 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 66 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sharks last season, including two points (one goal, one assist) in eight games after he was traded to the Penguins on Feb. 24. He did not have a point in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, when the Penguins lost in four games to the Montreal Canadiens.
“I still love playing, I still love the competition,” Marleau said. “[I’m] still going after my dream of winning the Stanley Cup and, yeah, [I’m] still able to get out there and play and have fun. I think that’s the thing that keeps me going.”
Marleau, who signed a one-year contract with the Sharks on Oct. 9, 2019, has the most games (1,551), goals (518) and points (1,102) in San Jose history, and is second in assists (548) behind Joe Thornton (804).
Selected by San Jose with the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft, Marleau has scored 1,188 points (562 goals, 626 assists) in 1,723 regular-season games over 22 seasons with the Penguins, Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs. He has scored 127 points (72 goals, 55 assists) in 195 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“Patrick is one of the most iconic players in San Jose Sharks history, as well as being one of the most respected veterans in the National Hockey League,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “The leadership he brings on and off the ice has been well documented over his fantastic NHL career and his competitive fire to win is still burning strong. Patrick’s lead-by-example demeanor is inspiring and continues to resonate with our group of younger players.”
Marleau is fifth in NHL history in games, eight behind Ron Francis for fourth (1,731) and 44 behind Gordie Howe for first (1,767).
“As far as the record, we’ll see,” Marleau said. “You never know what can happen, but if it does happen that would be something pretty special for sure.
“It’d be pretty special to do. Gordie being from Saskatchewan, which is my home province as well, it’d be kind of cool to have that connection with him.”
The Sharks also signed Matt Nieto to a one-year contract Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 27-year-old forward scored 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 70 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season and three points (one goal, two assists) in 14 postseason games.
“I think it’s definitely an unusual free agency year,” Nieto said. “I didn’t really know what to expect going into it, but my agent let me know that San Jose was interested. It was kind of a no-brainer for me.
“Obviously I loved my time in San Jose when I was there, from the fans to the staff and to the players. There’s still a number of players that I played with that are there now that I have good relationships with and I’m excited to meet the rest of the guys and compete and go to war with these guys this year.”
Selected by San Jose in the second round (No. 47) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Nieto spent the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Sharks (2013-17). He has scored 151 points (62 goals, 89 assists) in 472 regular-season games and 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 55 playoff games.
“Matt’s a player we’re obviously familiar with having been here for our Stanley Cup Final run in 2016 and he plays with speed and energy,” Wilson said. “His quickness and defensive responsibility made him one of the top penalty killers on Colorado and we feel that those assets, along with his decision making and playmaking, will bring a lot of elements to our team. We’re excited to have Matt back in San Jose.”
NHL.com staff writer Mike Zeisberger contributed to this report