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Patrick Marleau returns to hockey after 'really tough' time away


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Liam
November 25, 2022  (12:43)
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After playing 23 seasons and 1779 games, making a clean break from hockey wouldn't be an easy task. For Patrick Marleau, life after retirement was extremely difficult. In an article by Kevin Kurz with The Athletic , Marleau opened up about struggles early on in retirement.

Leaving the routine and rigour of every day life in the NHL, Marleau felt rudderless in his day-to-day life in retirement. Since he played his final game in 2021, Marleau said he hadn't felt normal being away from the game he spent his whole life playing.
Marleau explains:
Just trying to figure out my own plan, how to spend my own time, was probably the biggest thing. It was hard. And then talking to other retired players, some say it took years in order to feel normal.

Earlier this year however, some direction came to Marleau. Mike Grier, his former teammate in San Jose and now the GM, offered Marleau a spot in the player development staff for the Sharks' training camp this year. Marleau seized the opportunity to coach, and has now continued the effort with his sons.
Moved to Florida to help one of his sons' hockey prospects, Marleau is now involved as a coach for an intense private youth hockey coaching group. Marleau can impart 1779 NHL games worth of knowledge to these kids, even if they don't recognize him, as he says.
However it's the connection with youth and continuing the game of hockey, for the next generation and himself, that Marleau has found solace in. Perhaps he's left the door open to a return in greater capacity in San Jose, as well.
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Patrick Marleau returns to hockey after 'really tough' time away

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