Marleau has Backed the Sharks into a Terrible Situation
The San Jose Sharks season took an unexpected turn over the past 48 hours, with news leaking that Patrick Marleau could be seeking a trade. With a no trade clause in place, Marleau has all the control and the three teams on his list currently are Anaheim, Los Angeles, and the New York Rangers. The list is rumored to possibly expand to Nashville and Chicago per TSN, but regardless it Doug Wilson into a spot he does not want to be in.
Trading a player who has been on your team for over 1300 games played is difficult enough to go through, but it is especially difficult when two-thirds of his trade list is rival teams. Shipping Marleau to Anaheim or Los Angeles might be too tough of a pill to swallow for the organization.
This leaves Doug Wilson at the moment with one option if a trade were to happen – the New York Rangers. As previously stated, the list could expand as Wilson fishes around the league, but Marleau’s no trade clause will be a tough cookie to crack. Marleau’s contract has one more year on it after this year at 6.66 million salary and cap hit, which would be difficult for the Rangers or even the Blackhawks to take on without giving a bad contract back to San Jose.
Outside of that issue, the Sharks also face the fact that they traded their first round pick this year to get Martin Jones. Losing Marleau certainly would not help with that situation. The pick is not lottery protected.
The San Jose Sharks and Doug Wilson are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need to decide between keeping Marleau and trying to be a playoff team this year or tearing it down, trading Marleau (and company) while their value is still high, and dealing with the pain of losing a good draft pick. The value of Maleau is still up in the air, but age and production put into play it is unlikely that he is worth a first round pick.
As the season progresses, we will get a clearer picture of what is going to happen. The Sharks started out hot under the stellar play of Martin Jones but have since faltered and fallen to 10th in the West and four points out of a wild card spot. As a streaky team, one stretch in the upcoming weeks could reveal the fate of their roster.