SAN JOSE — Patrick Marleau will break Gordie Howe’s record for most games played in an NHL career with the San Jose Sharks.
In the hours before Monday’s NHL trade deadline, the Sharks were involved in a handful of minor deals that netted an NCAA goalie, an AHL forward and a 2022 fifth round draft pick. But the biggest deals were the ones the Sharks did not make, as forwards Marleau, Marcus Sorensen and Kurtis Gabriel remained with the team for its stretch run.
Marleau, 41, will play in his 1,764th NHL game Monday night when the Sharks host the Anaheim Ducks, and remains on track to become the league’s all-time leader in games played in one week when San Jose plays the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.
Gordie Howe holds the NHL record with 1,767 games, and the Sharks are scheduled to play Anaheim again Wednesday and the Minnesota Wild on Friday and Saturday.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson wouldn’t say whether other teams expressed interest in Marleau, or whether Marleau had expressed a desire to move to a Stanley Cup contender. Last month, Marleau said he would consider a move to another team if the right fit came along.
“I think you all know the respect we have for Patty Marleau,” Wilson said. “He’s here. We’re excited for him to break that record as a Shark, and nothing but great things about Patty.”
At last season’s trade deadline, Wilson, in consultation with Marleau’s agent, Pat Brisson, traded Marleau to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional third round draft pick. But forward Antti Suomela and defensemen Fredrik Claesson were the only pending unrestricted free agents traded by the Sharks on Monday, as forwards Sorensen, Gabriel and Matt Nieto all remained in San Jose.
The Sharks (18-18-4) entered Monday in sixth place in the West Division with 40 points, four points back of the St. Louis Blues for the fourth and final playoff spot. They have 16 games remaining.
“We explored a lot of things, but we’re a hockey team that’s trying to win now also,” Wilson said. “We’re competing, we have an eye on the future with replenishing and adding picks.”
For the second straight day, the Sharks used their ample cap space to landed a draft pick as part of another three-way trade.
In a deal involving San Jose, Vegas and Chicago, forward Mattias Janmark and a fifth round draft pick were acquired by the Golden Knights and a second and third round draft pick were sent to the Blackhawks.
The Sharks netted a 2022 fifth-round pick from the Golden Knights, a selection that originally belonged to the Buffalo Sabres. San Jose also sent Nick DeSimone to Vegas as part of the deal.
Janmark’s contract carried a $2.250 million cap hit. The Sharks retained 25 percent of Janmark’s deal to make it work for the Golden Knights, who came into the day with $0 in deadline cap space.
The Sharks and Golden Knights developed one of the fiercest rivalries in the NHL after they met in the 2018 and 2019 playoffs. But the Sharks were intent on leveraging their ample salary cap space to bring in assets, as they entered Saturday with just under $12 million in deadline cap space, according to CapFriendly.
Earlier Monday, the Sharks acquired NCAA goalie Magnus Chrona on Monday from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Claesson.
Chrona, 20, just finished his sophomore season at the University of Denver. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden and is 6-foot-5 and over 215 pounds, Chrona was the Lightning’s fifth round draft pick in 2018. He had a 7-11-0 record this season with the Pioneers.
Claesson, 28, was signed as a free agent by the Sharks as a depth defenseman in January and had spent most of the season on the team’s taxi squad. He played in four games in February when both Radim Simek and Erik Karlsson were out with injuries.
In 45 games with Denver, Chrona has 23-17-4 record, a 2.28 goals against average and a .915 save percentage with three shutouts.
The Sharks also traded Antti Suomela, 27, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for fellow forward Alexander Barabanov, 26.
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Author: Curtis Pashelka
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