Patrick Marleau didn’t know if San Jose wanted him back.
That got my attention. Why would he need more reassurance, even though he was considered absolutely one of the most desirable players likely to be available this off-season? Maybe people were being really really negative about him before the playoffs. Fans certainly had fits whenever he was absent (actually or figuratively) during the playoffs. You can’t beat up on the artistic soul, not if you want them to be productive.
I don’t think he had any reason to doubt being welcome. It’s not like people were saying he didn’t deserve to treated like a star. No one was tossing him back to the AHL. But maybe he was getting all the wrong vibes, for the reason stated above: everybody wanted him. Massive popularity is a breeding ground for fits of unfounded jealousy.
It is evident from the context of the quote that he was talking about the team management, not the fans. Obviously, in the negotiating game, no one wants to tip his hand. Still, it is a ticket sales venture and murmurs from the audience will be heard. Maybe those who already “had” him were a little defensive, worried he might dump them. I don’t know what the team or its management was thinking but I suspect there was a little of that among fans. They certainly said as much, at some point even suggesting that intermittent poor performance was a result of not wanting to stay. That never made any sense but it did indicate that a lot of people thought he would go, and they were ready to blame him about that.
So, why stay and forgo a potential salary boost, a change of scenery? “It’s something we talk about,” Marleau said. “You want to be on a winning team and you want to allow the team to be able to bring in players or to keep players around in order for you to be a successful team and win.” (Working the Corners)
Wow, someone actually did say “how much money do I really need?” Pavs said it on the record first, but they both said it by signing. Yes, I should feel deep and furious envy at such salaries, not applaud anyone for “accepting” them. But someone has done a number on my brain and I feel like anyone not looking for more, more, more, is showing remarkable self-restraint and generosity. Money does matter to these guys, but not as much as it could.
Excellent. The Sharks are keeping two top-shelf guys around. I’m glad Patty confessed his doubts, makes me like him a lot.
Pavs could certainly be captain. He’s still young but he has his head on straight: “The biggest topic now is winning and that’s all it comes down to,…. You could see it last year when Manny came here. You could tell. I think he had better deals out there than in San Jose, but that’s the character of the guys in that locker room and that’s what we’re working toward.” (ibid) He was born under an ambitious star.
I imagine free agents around the league are cringing a little, or at least their agents are. Sure, the field has been narrowed but the salary floor just got wobbly.
Now to get Michalek to check the team out, fall in love with the Bay Area (Europeans LOVE the Bay Area!), then eat up some salary cap space, leaving so little that I get my goalie. I don’t even need Leights to be a number one anymore, I don’t know if he’s still shooting for that. This is a terrible market to try and trade yourself up. I just want to see him in the NHL, and of course preferably here.
This puts me in such a good mood that I almost wish Byfuglien well. After all, his name drives people to my blog, and also he had the good grace to go away. Still owes me a dog. Not sure what he could do to make up for that.