|Captain Patrick Marleau agrees to 2-year extension with Sharks|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 31 August 2007 08:53|
After months of negotiations and public speculation on Marleau's future, he finalized a deal two weeks before training camp opens to stay with the club that drafted him in 1997.
Marleau's extension finishes a busy summer for general manager Doug Wilson, who also signed forwards Joe Thornton and Milan Michalek and defenseman Craig Rivet to long-term extensions.
Marleau's new deal will pay him $6.3 million each season, a hefty raise for the Sharks' second-line center. Thornton, the Sharks' top-line center and the league's second-leading scorer, will average $7.2 million per year in his three-year extension, which also begins in 2008.
Marleau, a two-time All-Star who has one year and $4.5 million left on his current contract, was San Jose's second-leading scorer last season with 32 goals and 46 assists. He became the Sharks' franchise leader in points (491), goals (219) and assists (272) last season, surpassing former captain Owen Nolan in all three categories.
Marleau, who has been with the Sharks since he was an 18-year-old rookie in the 1997-98 season, also passed Mike Rathje for the franchise record in games played (717) and cementing his status as a longtime fan favorite at the Shark Tank.
But Marleau struggled in the playoffs, going scoreless with a minus-5 rating in the Sharks' six-game series loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the second round. Coach Ron Wilson was publicly critical of his captain, who accepted blame for the Sharks' exit after the NHL's fifth-best regular season.
Marleau then was surrounded by trade rumors when negotiations over his extension stretched through the summer, with the Montreal Canadiens reportedly eager to swing a deal. But Marleau always said he wanted to stay in San Jose, his wife's hometown and the Saskatchewan native's adopted home.