“Thank you, hockey. For the lessons. The laughs. The tears." Marleau Makes Retirement Official

The ageless 42-year-old Patrick Marleau has made it official: he is retiring from the NHL after an incredible 23 seasons. The word leaked out over the weekend, but Marleau has now had a chance to put all his thoughts into words, making his announcement via The Players Tribune, in an article he penned titled "Thank you, hockey."

Marleau spent all but two of those 23 seasons in San Jose. He spoke with great regard and wonderful memories of the Sharks. 

Playing in San Jose was the stuff of fairy tales. It was a new team, a beautiful city in California (where the weather was just a smidge nicer than the cold, bitter Canadian air I was used to). I got to play in one of the newest rinks in the league, with loud, passionate fans cheering us on. The horn that goes off when a home-team goal is scored in SAP Center is music to my ears. Our teams were gritty, hardworking, and never stopped fighting until the final buzzer. Building those first years of history for the Sharks was a responsibility I didn’t take lightly, or for granted. I hope the city, the organization and the fans can be proud of what we accomplished then. 

I came to San Jose as a 17-year-old boy. I had big dreams and you showed faith in me from Day One. Thank you for allowing me to put that jersey on, year after year, decade after decade.

He also called playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs for two years "surreal," and talked about the excitement of playing with young talents like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, "kids that are closer to the age of my own sons than to me."

In summary, Marleau summed up his lifetime in the sport he loved with a thank you.

 “Thank you, hockey. For the lessons. The laughs. The tears. You let me live out my dreams."

Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports