On Saturday afternoon, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that forward Patrick Marleau has officially been traded an hour before the NHL draft resumed on Saturday. Marleau will now set up his new come in Carolina after being traded to play with the Hurricanes. Since the news broke, Toronto Maple Leaf fans seem devastated that the veteran player will be leaving the team.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs did not comment on why the star was traded, SportsNet states that this move was made to get some salary cap relief, since the player was recorded at earning $6.2 million a season. Freeing up this salary helps the team retrieve other players in this NHL draft.
Marleau first started playing with Leafs when he was acquired in July 2017 when he was traded by the San Jose Sharks. Since then, Marleau has taken to the ice, registering at 121 points in the two seasons that he was with the team. He is considered a veteran by many, appearing in 1,657 NHL games with 551 goals and 615 assists throughout his career.
Since the announcement that Marleau will no longer be playing with the Leafs, Patrick Marleau has taken to his wife's Twitter account, to release a statement about him leaving the Canadian team. Marleau states that it was an honour to play with the Leafs and recalls how the teams and fans always made him and his family feel at home.
Hi, Patrick here. I don’t have my own social media, so I wanted to come here and say a few words to @MapleLeafs, th… https://t.co/iWzVaXZgyo— Christina Marleau (@Christina Marleau)1561221571.0
Since the announcement, multiple Toronto Maple Leaf fans are devastated to lose their veteran player to the Hurricanes. Fans have flooded Twitter to wish the veteran goodbye and share how they are sad to see the player go.
@c_marleau @MapleLeafs @Marner93 @AM34 All the best to Patrick and your family! We will truly miss you guys here in Toronto!💙💙💙💙— rachel (@rachel)1561222718.0
@c_marleau @MapleLeafs @Marner93 @AM34 I’m crying!!!— Brent (@Brent)1561221772.0
@c_marleau @MapleLeafs @Marner93 @AM34 https://t.co/RNd7tHcYn2— Lets go Blue Jays! (@Lets go Blue Jays!)1561221714.0
@c_marleau @MapleLeafs @Marner93 @AM34 love you and your wonderful family patrick! i was so glad to see you play la… https://t.co/dzzc5sJMxC— kylie 💙 (@kylie 💙)1561221874.0
@c_marleau @MapleLeafs @Marner93 @AM34 You will always be a Leaf. Thank you for helping our boys grow up. Thank you… https://t.co/Ts7ctfUSTs— Buds Toronto (BLM Still) (@Buds Toronto (BLM Still))1561222221.0
While many Leaf fans are sad to see the player go, others aren't surprised. Marleau dropped a massive hint that he would be leaving the team earlier this month when he put his Toronto home up for sale.
Listing his $1.8 mansion for sale, the Toronto Star and fans realized that this may not be good news for the team, and many had the hunch that the 39-year-old forward would be playing for another team in the next season.
Marleau has been playing in the NHL since 1997. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes along with a conditional first-round draft pick for the 2020 NHL draft, and a seventh-round draft pick. In return, the Toronto Maple Leafs got a sixth-round draft pick in 2020.