Sharks sign captain Patrick Marleau to a 2-year, $12.6 million contract extension, Patrick Marleau-Doug Wilson conference call transcript
SAN JOSE SHARKS CAPTAIN #12 PATRICK MARLEAU - PHOTO JON SWENSON
San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau signed a 2-year, $12.6 million contract extension today that will keep him in teal and orange until 2010. The agreement puts an end to offseason trade rumors surrounding Marleau that have been making the NHL rounds at a steady pace. The latest was squashed Friday morning as Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey described a phone conversation with GM Doug Wilson. Gainey said that Marleau was described as one of the cornerstones of the Sharks franchise, and that he would not be going anywhere.
The longtime Shark Patrick Marleau holds franchise records in almost every offensive category, goals (219), assists (272) points (491) and game-winning goals (41), and has served as team captain since the 2003-04 season. He finished last season as the second leading scorer, registering 32 goals and 46 assists for 78 points in 77 games played.
The contract extension for Marleau follows those signed recently by Joe Thornton, Craig Rivet, and Milan Michalek as the Sharks solidified the nucleus of a dominant Western Conference team for the foreseeable future.
Transcript of Patrick Marleau's conference call:
[Q] How important was it to get this done before training camp, instead of having a little bit of uncertainty ahead of you?
[PM] It is very important. We have been negotiating for a little while now, but once you start negotiations you want to get things done as quickly as possible. Now going into training camp with everything done we can just focus on hockey. Where the focus should be.
[Q] Can you tell me a little about the term of the contract with 2 years, not 1 year, not 4 years, is that an ideal length for you, or is that something the team was pushing a little bit?
[PM] No I think that is what ended up working for both parties, as far as money-wise anyways. So I think it was agreeable as far as the years came to two.
[Q] Was there a point where you thought this might not get done before training camp, prepared to go into the season playing in your last year, or were you always confident that it could get done?
[PM] You start out hoping things will get done more quickly, but that being said I would have been able to put it aside and been able to play. They have been open, if something was going to happen I would have had an inkling of what was going on.
[Q] Could you imagine what it would have been like to play in another city, this is all you have known in your hockey career. How unappetizing was that prospect?
[PM] I have put a lot of thought into it, I have been here the longest now. I'm the last guy standing. I have come up with the team, and now that we have what I think is a Stanley Cup contending team it probably would not be the best time for me to leave. I am going to stay here, and stay in the Bay Area. I love the fans, the team, and I love my teammates. It is going to be an exciting time for Sharks fans and myself, as we go after that Stanley Cup.
[Q] Did you talk to any of the other guys on the team while you were going through that process? Whether you wanted to sign for one year, or two years, or whether you wanted to sign at all?
[PM] I have obviously talked to some of the guys. Milan has made a commitment, Joe has made a commitment. Having some of those guys locked up makes it a lot easier to stay and play with those guys, and you know you are going to be on a winning team. That definately does come into play.
Transcript of General Manager Doug Wilson's conference call:
[Q] Can you tell us how you feel after a pretty productive summer in terms of making longterm progress for your club? In addition to Patty, there is a whole summer full of deals you have done.
[DW] Well, to be honest with you the credit deserves to go to the players. I think we have mentioned many times that it is our responsibility to make this a place where players want to stay and be a part of, and be able to win. The players have the choices and they step up. I am really proud of the guys to understand how every contract negotiation is connected to 22 other players. I just can not say enough about our group stepping up and doing what I think is needed under this system to keep a hockey team like ours together.
[Q] Was Patty's deal a long steady thing or did it pick up recently?
[DW] It has been pretty steady. We have a great relationship with Patty and his agent Don Baizley, and the last contract we did with him we basically did it in 1 day. This one, I think we knew we were going to get there. We did have a common goal, and this is why you have to give Patty credit too. He did not want any distractions. To get it done now prior to going into camp is important for all of us, and for his teammates. I just can't give enough credit to the players for stepping up and getting this done.
[Q] Do you consider Patrick the archetype of what you want your players to be, what does he mean for this franchise in terms of longevity and in terms of what he does on and off the ice?
[DW] Well he is, he has that balance. He understands, and I am a little biased in this, hockey players understand that there is no one bigger than the game, and no one bigger than the team. I think the relationships our players have with the fans are based on that premise. So I think he gives back, and he is very involved with the community. When we get to these types of negotiations, it is bottom line performance on the ice. His record speaks for itself. I think the group of guys understand that we are coming into the prime of where our team is at. We want to build on what we have accomplished because we have not accomplished all of our goals. That goes for individual performances as well as collective team performances. It is an exciting time for us. For this number of players to step up and want to be a part of it, I think they sense there is something in place. I think it really comes down to the players looking forward to the challenge.
[Q] There was another story out of Montreal today that talked about Marleau. Bob Gainey jokingly shot it down saying he called you and asked if you are going to trade him to me. Did that become any kind of distraction or annoyance, or is that something a general manager just learns to live with?
[DW] No, I think it is a compliment. I told every player, it was the same way when I played, be very worried when they stop calling and asking about you. Many teams call about Patty, about Joe, about Cheech, Milan, a group of young players. You learn from listening and taking all these calls that there is only one priority, and that was to re-sign Patrick. Did many teams call? Absolutely. Did teams call as recently as the last couple of days? Yes they did. But the response to every one of those teams was that we are trying to re-sign Patrick, and that is what we expect to do.
It is funny that the last time I was in Montreal to do Milan's contract. I was checking out of the hotel about 6 in the morning and the skycap comes up to me and said are you here to trade Patty to Monreal? I looked at the guy and said you got to be kidding me. He thought he had an inside scoop.
[Q] What are your plans between now and camp?
[DW] I like the idea that how players come back into camp is a great indicator for us. I am pretty excited that a number of players are already back in town. We are looking at maybe doing a couple of other things. A lot of GM's now, everybody loves their players now going into camp. We want to give our guys the opportunity I think they deserve, and we will go from there. But I may add another couple of guys, or one guy, coming into camp in the next few days. We are still working on some things.
[Update] Sharks sign Marleau to extension - San Jose Mercury News.
[Update2] Hahn: Marleau Isn't Going Anywhere - SJsharks.com.
When you look at Patrick Marleau's track record you can’t deny that he's one of the top centermen in the League and one of the greatest Sharks players in the team's history. He arrived at his first training camp when he was just 17 years old. He never spent a day in the minor leagues.
He's won multiple World Championships with Team Canada. He's a two-time All-Star. He's the franchise’s all-time record holder for games played, goals, assists and points. Were it not for the work stoppage two years ago, Marleau would have reached the 700-games-played plateau faster than any player in NHL history.
[Update3] Sharks sign Marleau to $12.6M extension - TSN.
But Marleau struggled in the playoffs, going scoreless with a minus-5 rating in the Sharks' six-game second-round loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Coach Ron Wilson launched thinly-veiled criticisms at his captain, who absorbed and accepted much of the blame for the Sharks' latest early-round postseason exit after the NHL's fifth-best regular season.