Marleau returns to Sharks for 23rd NHL season

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Patrick Marleau signed a one-year contract to return to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 41-year-old forward scored 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 66 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sharks last season, including two points (one goal, one assist) in eight games after he was traded to the Penguins on Feb. 24. He did not have a point in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, when the Penguins lost in four games to the Montreal Canadiens.

“Patrick is one of the most iconic players in San Jose Sharks history, as well as being one of the most respected veterans in the National Hockey League,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “The leadership he brings on and off the ice has been well documented over his fantastic NHL career and his competitive fire to win is still burning strong. Patrick’s lead-by-example demeanor is inspiring and continues to resonate with our group of younger players.”

Marleau, who signed a one-year contract with the Sharks on Oct. 9, 2019, is their all-time leader in games played (1,551), goals (518) and points (1,102), and is second in assists (548) behind Joe Thornton (804).

Selected by San Jose with the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft, Marleau has 1,188 points (562 goals, 626 assists) in 1,723 regular-season games over 22 seasons with the Penguins, Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs. He has 127 points (72 goals, 55 assists) in 195 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Marleau is fifth in NHL history in games played, eight behind Ron Francis for fourth place (1,731) and 44 behind Gordie Howe for first (1,767).

The Sharks also signed Matt Nieto to a one-year contract on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 27-year-old forward scored 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 70 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season and three points (one goal, two assists) in 14 postseason games.

Selected by San Jose in the second round (No. 47) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Nieto spent the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Sharks (2013-17). He has 151 points (62 goals, 89 assists) in 472 regular-season games and 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 55 playoff games.

“Matt’s a player we’re obviously familiar with having been here for our Stanley Cup Final run in 2016 and he plays with speed and energy,” Wilson said. “His quickness and defensive responsibility made him one of the top penalty killers on Colorado and we feel that those assets, along with his decision making and playmaking, will bring a lot of elements to our team. We’re excited to have Matt back in San Jose.”

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