Sharks Legend Patrick Marleau Announces Retirement

Sharks Franchise Icon Spent Parts of 21 Seasons Donning Teal; Retires as the NHL's All-Time Games Played Leader
Photo Credit: San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks/NHL

SAN JOSE, CA – Patrick Marleau, a San Jose Sharks legend and one of the top players in the history of the National Hockey League, announced on Tuesday May 10 his retirement from the game after a 23-year career.

From humble beginnings as a boy growing up in Humboldt, Sask, Marleau ascended to the NHL as a 17-year-old phenom. He proceeded to author one of the more remarkable careers in NHL history, culminating on April 21, 2021 in Las Vegas when he played in his 1,768th NHL game, eclipsing the record held by one of the game’s most iconic legends, Gordie Howe. Howe had become the NHL’s record holder on Nov. 26, 1961, when he played in his 1,000th NHL regular season game.

Marleau concludes his playing career firmly entrenched among the top players in the history of the NHL, as evidenced by his rankings on the League’s all-time lists: 1st in games played (1,779); 23rd in goals (566); T-7th in game-winning goals (109); 50th in points (1,197); and 81st in assists (631).

With the Sharks franchise, Marleau ranks first in nearly every offensive category, including games played (1,607), goals (522), points (1,111), power-play goals (163), shorthanded goals (17), game-winning goals (101), multi-goal games (67) and shots (3,953). He also ranks second in assists (589), eighth in penalty minutes (481), and eighth in points-per-game (0.69 – min. 200 games). Incredibly, he scored at least one game-winning goal against every NHL team he played against in his career (including the Sharks), except for the Vegas Golden Knights, who didn’t enter the NHL until the 2018-19 season.

Marleau’s retirement officially ends his consecutive regular season games played streak at 910, which places him fifth all time, and was the NHL’s second-longest active streak. The veteran forward had not missed an NHL game he was eligible to play in since April 9, 2009.

Marleau was originally selected by the Sharks with the second overall selection in the 1997 NHL Draft and made his NHL debut on Oct. 1, 1997. At 18 years, six days old, Marleau became the youngest player to make his NHL debut since 1945.

That season, Marleau finished tied for eighth among rookies in games played while also ranking in the top-10 in several offensive categories including points (32, fourth), goals (13, fifth), assists (seventh) and power-play points (7, ninth). He appeared in 74 games his rookie season and, over the next 22 years, that would be the fewest number of games he would play in a full 82-game season.

Of the 385 players to ever don a Sharks uniform for at least one regular season game, Marleau has played alongside 265 of them (69%).

Over the next two decades, Marleau continued to add to his hockey resume:

  • On Dec. 12, 2006 at Washington, Marleau appeared in his 672nd NHL game to take sole possession of first place on the Sharks all-time franchise games played list, surpassing Mike Rathje (671).
    •On Jan. 17, 2010, he appeared in his milestone 1,000th career game to become the first player to play all 1,000 career NHL games in a Sharks uniform.
    •He was the first player from his 1997 draft class to reach 1,000 games and is the third-youngest player in NHL history to accomplish the feat (31 years, 124 days – behind Dale Hawerchuk [30 years, 306 days] and Vincent Damphousse [31 days, 110 days]). Had there not been a work stoppage during the 2004-05 season, Marleau would have been the youngest ever.
    •Collected his 500th NHL goal on Feb. 2, 2017
    •600th assist on Nov. 8, 2018
    •1100th NHL point on Nov. 21, 2015.
    •Selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game three times (2004, 2007 and 2009).
    •On Oct. 25, 2019, became the seventh player in NHL history to appear in at least 1,500 games with one franchise.
    •On Dec. 12, 2019 vs. the New York Rangers, Marleau and Joe Thornton became the first pair of teammates to have appeared in 1,600 regular season games and play in the same game together.

Including Stanley Cup Playoff games, Marleau amassed 1,974 career games (195 playoff games) which is second to only Mark Messier’s 1,992 total games. Marleau is also just one of 13 NHL players to skate in at least 23 seasons and is one of 14 players in NHL history to play in four separate decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s).

His 195 Stanley Cup Playoff games are the 23rd most in NHL history, and his appearance in the playoffs in 20 different seasons is tied for the third most. In the postseason, Marleau has recorded 127 points (72 goals, 55 assists) and ranks tied for 14th all-time in playoff goals and tied for 49th in playoff points.

Internationally, Marleau played for the gold-medal winning Team Canada in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, represented Canada in the 2014 World Cup of Hockey (gold medal), and has appeared in four World Championships (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005).



Game #1 Oct. 1, 1997 San Jose vs. Edmonton
Game #100 Dec. 10, 1998 San Jose at Nashville
Game #200 Jan. 8, 2000 San Jose vs. Florida
Game #300 March 1, 2001 San Jose at Ottawa
Game #400 Oct. 19, 2002 San Jose vs. Colorado
Game #500 Nov. 26, 2003 San Jose vs. Chicago
Game #600 Jan. 14, 2006 San Jose at Montreal
Game #700 Feb. 24, 2007 San Jose at Calgary
Game #800 Oct. 17, 2008 San Jose at Anaheim
Game #900 Dec. 1, 2009 San Jose vs. Ottawa
Game #999 Jan. 15, 2011 San Jose vs. St. Louis
Game #1,000 Jan. 17, 2011 San Jose at Phoenix
Game #1,200 Dec. 19, 2013 San Jose at Los Angeles
Game #1,300 Feb. 5, 2015 San Jose at Vancouver
Game #1,400 Mar. 19, 2016 San Jose vs. New York Rangers
Game #1,500 Oct. 18, 2017 San Jose vs. Detroit
Game #1,600 Nov. 26, 2018 San Jose vs. Boston
Game #1,700 Jan. 11, 2020 San Jose vs. Dallas
Game #1,767 Apr. 17, 2021 San Jose at Minnesota
Game #1,768 Apr. 19, 2021 San Jose at Vegas
Game #1,779 May 12, 2021 San Jose at Vegas