The San Jose Sharks sent Patrick Marleau a special gift for what is set to be an incredible night.
The Sharks forward received brand new commemorative gloves that acknowledged his accomplishment as the NHL’s all-time games-played leader, which he is poised to become on Monday when he takes the ice against the Vegas Golden Knights. His 1,768th game will break the previous mark set by Gordie Howe.
Marleau’s gloves were black with gold writing that said “most games played in NHL history” and the logos of the Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom Marleau has played every game of his 23 seasons.
Marleau will play in his 1,596th game as a member of the Sharks, and they went all-out to celebrate the achievement. Goalie Martin Jones even got a customized helmet, which features Marleau and his No. 12 all over the mask.
Many of Marleau’s former teammates took to social media to laud the accomplishment.
Former Maple Leafs teammate, and one-time self-proclaimed adult son of Marleau, Mitchell Marner, shared a hearfelt congratulatory post on Instagram. It accompanied a video of him, along with Auston Matthews and Marleau’s sons rocking out to “YMCA” in the Marleau family car.
“Congrats brother!! What’s an amazing accomplishment you’re breaking tonight! Wish we could celebrate with you but we will be watchin! 1768.” Marner wrote.
“Legendary person and legendary player. Congrats on the all time games played record brother. So happy for you!! #1768,” Matthews wrote on his Instagram page.
Dallas Stars forward Joe Pavelski, who played 13 seasons with Marleau in San Jose, said the accomplishment was “amazing” and “hard to even put into words” in a video shared by the Stars on Twitter.
Marleau may have never donned a Carolina Hurricanes uniform, though he was briefly under contract with them in 2019 when they acquired Marleau and a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Marleau and the Hurricanes agreed to a buyout before he returned to the Sharks, but they paid their respects to a “Canes legend.”
The Sharks have been celebrating the feat all day leading up to the record-breaking game and shared a quote that was very, very Marleau on Instagram.
“There’s a game to be played tonight and there’s a lot of things going on at the same time,” Marleau said. “Trying to balance both of those things and make sure I’m ready to play when the puck drops, but also take it all in at the same time.”