The Toronto Maple Leafs blew all of their signings from yesterday out of the water, signing Patrick Marleau to a 3-year contract worth $18.75 million.
Listen, you don’t need us to tell you who Patrick Marleau is; he’s certifiably a legend around these parts and just about any part of the league. Drafted second overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 1997 Entry Draft, Marleau made the team straight out of camp and never looked back.
In his 19-year career, the native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan has scored 508 goals and 574 assists, for a total of 1082 points in 1493 games. He’s also contributed 120 points in 177 playoff games, 68 of which are goals.
Marleau’s best offensive years appear to be behind him, but that hasn’t stopped him from contributing; the 37-year-old potted 27 goals and 19 assists last year, and if you pro-rate the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season, has scored at a 25-per-year rate in the 13 of the past 16 years.
The contract is a bit on the steep side; $6.25 million a year was more than most expected, and a 3-year deal at 37 is hefty. But it’s still a relatively short term deal, and he’s another top-end forward added to a top-end core. Either he makes them the deepest offence in hockey, or he allows them to move a piece to address another need. Either way, it’s hard to see this as anything but a win.