Pittsburgh’s first of two deadline trades on Monday granted a chance to one of the best hockey players of our generation to compete for a Stanley Cup one more time in Patrick Marleau. They were able to acquire Marleau from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2021 3rd round pick, which would upgrade to a 2021 2nd round pick should the Penguins win the Stanley Cup this season. Marleau almost won the Stanley Cup with the Sharks in 2016 and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games.
In twelve seasons of data, Patrick Marleau has a -0.02 AB score but has registered negative individual scores in six of his last seven seasons. At 40-years old, Marleau is playing like he still has plenty to contribute. His penalty taken/drawn ratio is an impressive 5:9, and his giveaway/takeaway ratio is an equally impressive 13:26. He has a -5 +/- number on the season, however, which is his only negative statistic that we observe. In 58 games, Marleau has scored 10 goals and registered 10 assists for 20 points. This season, he is playing about 30 seconds less than his previous career average of 16 minutes per game. The fact that he is able to continue playing these minutes at his age is astounding to us, as he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He makes $700k and is set to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, however; we see him retiring at the end of the season regardless of what the Penguins do in the playoffs. Marleau will certainly be helpful to a Penguins team that has won multiple Stanley Cups in recent memory, as he will bring more veteran leadership and professionalism to a team that is already loaded in that department.
Marleau will join an already elite forward group in Pittsburgh despite the massive amount of injuries the Penguins have had to overcome this year. He is currently on a line centered by fellow trade deadline acquisition Evan Rodrigues, and with Dominik Simon on his opposite wing. In his debut with the Pens last night, Marleau played almost fourteen and a half minutes, while throwing two hits and registering a shot on goal. He also drew a tripping penalty against Kings rookie Gabriel Vilardi about halfway into the 2nd period.
Pittsburgh is currently 37-19-6, good for 80 points in 62 games and the 2nd place spot in the Metropolitan Division. They trail the division-leading Washington Capitals by four points but have one game in hand. The Penguins have been struggling as of late, however, with a 4-5-1 record in their last 10 games and a four-game losing streak in that stretch. Much more to come, as it will surely be interesting to see how the tight races in the Eastern Conference playoff picture turn out over the last month of the season.