Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 04/29/12 at 04:31 AM ET
Everyone has a theory about what’s going to happen with Roberto Luongo this summer, and the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson is no exception, but he chose to lead off his Hockey World column with a suggestion that the San Jose Sharks can indeed “shake up” their roster despite their contractual obligations to their core players by perhaps finally trading Patrick Marleau:
know the fans still voted him their favourite player in an online poll and I know general manager Doug Wilson has long been a Marleau loyalist, but the Sharks, who have several holes and a window of winning that looks like it has closed with this current cast, have to get younger. Whether that’s younger as in making a trade for Rick Nash, a guy who turns 28 in June, or they go much younger than that in another deal, they have to move an older piece and they aren’t moving Jumbo Joe Thornton.
If they do decide to deal Marleau, they’re late to this party. They should have arrived at this conclusion two or three years ago after they decided to take away the “C” and give it to Thornton.
Marleau will be a 1,000-point NHL player in two to three years, with a skill set to skate with Olympic teamers — he had five points in seven games for Canada in Vancouver in 2010 — but he is a support player. He is not a leader today. I’m not so sure he’s ever been a leader. He’s a placid, even-keel, the-sun’s-always-gonna-come-up-the-next-day guy. Nothing wrong with that, but he’s now one of those players you wish gave more. He’s got it in him, but on a lot of nights he looks like a comfortable NHLer. In one place too long maybe.
He gets his points (830 in regular season; 88 in 129 playoff games), but is he going to take you places you’ve never been? Like a Stanley Cup parade?
Continue reading for Matheson’s takes on Luongo, Tim Thomas, Jay Garrison and top prospect (for the 2013 draft) Nathan MacKinnon…
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