San Jose Sharks taking calls on both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau today. Totally up to them if they sign off on going to a contender for a chance to win a Cup. Both would be welcomed back to SJ on July 1 if they wish. Pittsburgh has shown interest in Marleau.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 24, 2020
Marleau, 40, would be a depth add for Pittsburgh. Old guys have fared well in small doses, for every Pens’ Stanley Cup in the Sidney Crosby / Evgeni Malkin era there have been those veterans like Bill Guerin (2009), Matt Cullen (2016, 2017), Chris Kunitz (2017), Ron Hainsey (2017) to provide that steady veteran calm on and off the ice that has had real benefits cited by teammates.
As of last night it was reportedly highly likely that the Sharks will be trading Marleau. The veteran has 10 goals and 10 assists in 50 games this season. Even at his advanced age, Marleau still has had a better season then many of the depth options the Pens have utilized. Here’s how his year stacks up to Sam Lafferty, a 12th/13th type of forward for much of this season.
Here’s another look:
Patrick Marleau is a bottom six player who doesn't play a bottom six game - good offensively, poor defensively. He's not much of a playmaker and his shot has declined as well. #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/eyJs56AYnw— JFresh (@JFresh1999) February 24, 2020
Marleau also carries a league minimum cap hit of $700,000, which is also very favorable and would leave the door open to more moves. Assuming the trade price isn’t too much higher than a mid-round draft pick, it doesn’t sound like the worst idea in the world as a cheap add of a player with a lot of experience. Marleau doesn’t add a ton defensively, but the Pens could use an offensive punch to go along with good possession forwards who don’t score a ton.
The potential to double shift Marleau with Crosby or Malkin would be intriguing. Players like Dominik Kahun and Dominik Simon usually play 11-14 ES minutes per game on scoring lines. Could Marleau add more production than a player like Simon? One would have to think, probably so, even though Marleau isn’t going to be a full-time, set in stone top-six regular.
But does he have enough left to sustain a long playoff run? Clearly remains to be seen. But Marleau is a proven commodity and no matter how much he has in the tank, it would likely give a small boost to the Pens’ depth down the stretch if they can acquire him.