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Patrick Marleau, NHL leader in games played, retires

Apr 24, 2021; San Jose, California, USA;  San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) before the game against the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Marleau retired from the NHL on Tuesday after a 23-year career in the NHL.

He leaves the game after playing 1,779 games, the most in NHL history, from 1997 to 2021. He didn’t play in the 2021-22 season

“Thank you, hockey,” he wrote as he announced his retirement in an essay for The Players’ Tribune. “For the lessons. The laughs. The tears. You let me live out my dreams.”

Marleau, 42, played 1,607 of those games for the San Jose Sharks, who selected the Saskatchewan native with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft.

The three-time All-Star is the franchise leader in a number of statistical categories, including goals (522), points (1,111) and game-winning goals (101).

The Sharks changed their Twitter profile Tuesday to read, “Thank you, Patrick Marleau.”

Marleau, a center, had 1,197 points (566 goals, 631 assists) with the Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs (2017-10) and Pittsburgh Penguins (2020). He also had 72 goals and 55 assists in 195 career playoff games, which included a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.

In his essay, Marleau thanked the fans in San Jose and the franchise.

“I came to San Jose as a 17-year-old boy. I had big dreams and you showed faith in me from day one,” Marleau wrote. “Thank you for allowing me to put that jersey on, year after year, decade after decade. I hope I have left a history that you and the city can be proud of.”

–Field Level Media