When Patrick Marleau accepted a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this offseason, the writing was on the wall. Marleau would be bought out by the Hurricanes and would be free to return to the San Jose Sharks to finish his career where he was a franchise icon. Not so fast, as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that Marleau’s agent Pat Brisson says there is no fit with the Sharks at this time and that his client will pursue other NHL opportunities.
Where exactly those opportunities may lie isn’t clear. The prevailing thought is that Marleau would rather spend his remaining time in the NHL near the west coast to be closer to his family that has moved back to San Jose, but there isn’t a clear fit with any of the California teams. The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are trying to get younger, not bring in a soon-to-be 40-year old winger who just experienced his worst offensive season since 1997-98. The Edmonton Oilers were recently suggested as a potential landing spot, though it is not clear at this point. As Kevin Kurz of The Athletic points out, Marleau continues to suit up with the Sharks during informal skates in his old Maple Leafs’ gear.
- With the Winnipeg Jets still focused on their two unsigned star forwards, it’s easy to forget that next summer they will have another tough negotiation. Josh Morrissey, who has developed into a legitimate first-pairing option for the Jets over the last few years is entering the final season of a two-year deal signed last September and will be an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent next summer. Ken Wiebe of The Athletic caught up with Morrissey today to ask him about any potential negotiations and the young defenseman explained that there has been preliminary talks about a potential long-term extension. Morrissey told Wiebe, “I would love to play [in Winnipeg] throughout my career” but that he’s focused on the upcoming season. The 24-year old had 31 points in 59 games for the Jets last season.
- The Philadelphia Flyers have made a few changes to their front office, promoting Ian Anderson to Director of Hockey Analytics and Jacob Hurlbut to Lead Developer in the department. The team has also hired Tom Minton as Director of Hockey Information/Video and Matthew Karliner as an Analyst. GM Chuck Fletcher has obviously chosen to invest in the team’s analytic department moving forward, hoping to find any edge possible.