03 July 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Administrator

Maple Leafs sign free-agent forward Patrick Marleau

The Toronto Maple Leafs beefed up their rising roster Sunday night, signing 37-year-old Patrick Marleau to a three-year deal.

Marleau has spent his entire NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, drafted second overall by the club 20 years ago. He joins a promising Leafs squad that nearly toppled the President’s Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in the first round last April and one with apparent sights on Stanley Cup contention as soon as the coming season.

Marleau, who turns 38 in September, will carry an annual cap hit of US$6.25 million.

He stands to offer head coach Mike Babcock plenty of versatility – capable of lining up at centre or on the wing, on the penalty kill or on the power play. Marleau can score, too, having notched 52 goals combined over the past two seasons while hitting at least 20 goals 14 times in his career.

The soft-spoken native of Aneroid, Sask. is also the picture of health, having played in 98 per cent of games over a career that started with the Sharks in 1997.

Marleau has played for Babcock with Team Canada at the last two Olympics, winning gold both times.

Toronto is loaded with talented young forwards, including William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews, the team’s first Calder trophy winner in 51 years. That group has been bolstered this summer with the addition of Marleau as well as veteran Ron Hainsey on the back-end and fellow 36-year-old Dominic Moore in the fourth line centre spot.

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