Patrick Marleau has played in more regular-season games against the Los Angeles Kings throughout his 22-year NHL career than any other opponent. He'll face them for the 116th time Wednesday night, but in a big change from most of the prior 115, it won't be as a member of the Sharks.
Marleau currently exists as San Jose's all-time leader in points (1,102), goals (518) and games played (1,551), but he won't be able to add to those totals throughout the remainder of the current season as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to Monday's NHL trade deadline in exchange for a conditional third-round draft pick. He grew up rooting for Pittsburgh, and will make his debut with his new club when the Kings host the Penguins at Staples Center on Wednesday night.
🦈 ➡️ 🐧— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 25, 2020
Welcome to the team, Patrick Marleau! pic.twitter.com/IeCW3moNx8
If there's one thing missing from Marleau's Hall of Fame resume, it's the absence of a Stanley Cup. He's in a much better position to pursue that with the Penguins the rest of the way than he was with the Sharks, and Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford is looking forward to adding Marleau's veteran presence to what is an already talented group.
"He can still really skate, and as you get older that's important for you," Rutherford said after acquiring Marleau. "He should be a good fit for us."
"His desire to get that ultimate prize is going to be big for him because time is running out."
With 1,715 career games played, Marleau has Gordie Howe's NHL record of 1,767 in his sights. He'll have to return for a 23rd season in order to eclipse that target, and despite the trade, there is certainly good reason to believe he would be open to a third stint in San Jose.
Until then, Sharks fans are going to have to get used to seeing one of the franchise's all-time greats wearing colors that aren't teal -- again.
Watch ex-Shark Patrick Marleau get ready for Penguins debut vs. Kings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area