Sharks to retire Patrick Marleau's No. 12 jersey in 2023; first in team history

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Making history: Sharks to retire Marleau's No. 12 in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The San Jose Sharks are set to retire Patrick Marleau's No. 12, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

The team will raise Marleau's jersey to the rafters at SAP Center in an on-ice ceremony prior to their game with the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

The Sharks have seen many impactful players play for the team, but none more so than Marleau himself. He will be the first Sharks player to have his number retired.

Marleau has been the face of the Sharks’ franchise since he was drafted in 1997, and after 1,779 career regular season games and 195 post-season games, he retired from the NHL.

The 42-year-old legend last skated for the Sharks in 2021, skating in 56 games and putting up four goals and nine points.

“As a little boy skating on a frozen pond, my dream was to play in the NHL,” Marleau said in a statement. “Never could I have imagined the honor of my jersey hanging in the rafters above the very ice that I played so many of my NHL games on.

“I cannot begin to describe the way I feel. I am truly grateful and thankful for this recognition, but also for being able to play in front of the great San Jose Sharks fans for so long. I’ll miss doing so for the rest of my life. Thank you to the Sharks organization, my teammates throughout my career, and especially the fans for this honor of a lifetime. I can’t wait to see you all on Feb. 25.”

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Marleau is the NHL all-time leader in games played (1,779) and holds the Sharks franchise record in goals (522) and points (1,111). 

“It is only fitting that the first San Jose Sharks player to receive the ultimate franchise recognition of having his number retired is Mr. San Jose Shark himself, Patrick Marleau,” Sharks team president Jonathan Becher said. “Patty symbolizes the Sharks franchise as much as our famous jersey crest and the color teal.

“We look forward to celebrating his amazing NHL legacy with Patrick’s family, friends, and his legions of fans, many of whom were in the arena when Patrick first stepped on the ice in San Jose in 1997.”