Patrick Marleau announces retirement from playing

SAN JOSE — Patrick Marleau, who became the NHL’s all-time leader in games played over a 23-season career, officially announced his retirement on Tuesday morning.

Marleau, 42, made the announcement in The Players’ Tribune in a post titled, “Thank You, Hockey.”

“It’s bittersweet for sure, but I have so much to look forward to,” Marleau wrote. “Who knows what the world has in store for me. If you would have told that kid on the frozen pond that he would break a games-played record held by none other than Gordie Howe, he would have thought you were crazy.

“It was never something I aimed for; it was just me loving this game so much that I never, ever wanted to hang up my skates. I am beyond lucky to have had the career I had, but I did not get here by myself.”

Marleau had 566 goals and 631 assists for 1,197 points over 1,779 career games, as he surpassed Howe’s record of 1,767 games in April of last year, his final season.

Marleau played 20-plus of his 23 NHL seasons with the Sharks, along with two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and eight regular-season games with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2020. Marleau also had 72 goals and 55 assists in 195 career playoffs games.

“Playing in San Jose was the stuff of fairy tales,” Marleau wrote. “It was a new team, a beautiful city in California (where the weather was just a smidge nicer than the cold, bitter Canadian air I was used to). I got to play in one of the newest rinks in the league, with loud, passionate fans cheering us on. The horn that goes off when a home-team goal is scored in SAP Center is music to my ears.

“Our teams were gritty, hardworking, and never stopped fighting until the final buzzer. Building those first years of history for the Sharks was a responsibility I didn’t take lightly, or for granted. I hope the city, the organization and the fans can be proud of what we accomplished then.”

Marleau also helped Canada win gold at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, as well as the 2003 World Championships and the 2004 World Cup.

Please check back for updates to this developing story.

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