I'm certain most readers have heard the trade rumors surrounding San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau.
Do these rumors irritate you too?
Personally, I find it hard to understand where the trade talk came from. We all know that Marleau isn't off to a great start, but what hockey player has never been through a rough patch?
Many "experts" claim that Marleau is going to get moved due to his lack of production. But is that really the case? Marleau and Joe Thornton provide the Sharks with a solid 1-2 punch up the middle, which forces opponents to make adjustments to defend two great lines.
The points may not be coming at the same pace they have in the last two seasons—but Patrick gives an honest effort game-in and game-out. His speed, strength, and awareness always draw a tight defensive matchup—which certainly has something do with Thornton's numbers thus far.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson, for his part, has denied any plans to move Marleau. Wilson is an ex-player, and understands the ups and downs stars face. He also understands the intangibles Marleau brings to his hockey club.
Regardless of his numbers, Marleau is a leader, especially for his younger teammates. And he cares about wins more than stats. I'd wager my car that Marleau would be much happier struggling on a great team than succeeding on a bad one (see Alexander Ovechkin in Washington).
In any event, we'll continue to hear these rumors until Marleau starts producing—an unfortunate reality in the NHL. Still, Wilson knows Marleau's value, and will need to be blown away by an offer to pull the trigger.
Don't count on it happening.
After all, Marleau has been swimming with the Sharks longer than any player in franchise history—and we all know that sharks can pounce at any opportunity.
Marleau is just waiting for his.