By Taylor Lupetti:
The waiting is over for Shark’s fans and this one won’t be taken away.
Patrick Marleau officially scored his 500th career regular season goal against the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night. Since he was drafted in 1997, Marleau has racked up an impressive 1064 total points.
“It feels good to get that milestone,” Marleau said during the first period intermission as his goal came just nine and a half minutes in. “When you get close, you just want to get it done.”
Becoming only the 45th player in the NHL to achieve 500 regular season goals, Marleau now joins the ranks on a shortlist of NHL greats including Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe. Joining this short yet impressive list is a huge achievement for Marleau and is recognized as a milestone by the NHL. Marleau is the second San Jose Shark to join the ranks alongside Jeremy Roenick who hit 500 back in 2007.
Arguably more impressive is Marleau being on a smaller list of players who have scored all 500 goals with a single team.
Marleau’s road to 500 has been an exciting one this season. As of last night, he has 19 goals and nine assists so far in the 2016-17 campaign.
Marleau’s rise to 500 shot up on Jan. 23 when he became just the 12th NHL players to score four goals in one period. Marleau scored his four goals in a very exciting 18-minute time period. The once tied game against the Colorado Avalanche was quickly over thanks to Marleau’s sharp shooting.
His journey to 500 hit a roadblock on Jan. 31, when what was supposed to be his 499th goal was ruled off-sides against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“When I saw them (the referees) whispering, I had an idea it was off-sides but it felt good to come back and get another one,” Marleau said in a post-game interview on Tuesday.
The 19-year veteran’s time with the San Jose Sharks has been one for the books.
Since being picked up in the first round of the 1997 draft behind future teammate Joe Thornton, Marleau has been named the San Jose Sharks player of the year three times (’04, ’09 and ’14).
Marleau has also won a World Championships gold medal with team Canada in 2003. Furthermore, playing for the Canadian hockey team in the Olympics in both 2010 and 2014, Marleau is a two-time consecutive Olympic gold medalist.
In his 20 years as a member of the Sharks, Marleau was captain for the team briefly in the 2003-04 season and later took the permanent position for four seasons (2005-09), following former team captains Mike Ricci and Owen Nolan.
With his three-year contract with San Jose ending, Marleau will be a free agent at the end of the season.