The San Jose Sharks announced on Thursday that they will be retiring Patrick Marleau’s jersey next season. It will be the first time in franchise history that San Jose has retired a player’s number, according to The Athletic. The ceremony is expected to be held sometime in February during the upcoming NHL season.

After going unsigned through the 2021-2022 NHL season, Marleau made the announcement that he is retiring on May 10, 2022. The legendary Sharks center played 21 years in San Jose. He finished his career playing the most games in NHL history. He passed Red Wings legend Gordie Howe during his final season and retired playing in 1,779 career games.

Marleau slowed down considerably his final season with the Sharks, scoring just four goals in 56 games. Nevertheless, he is inarguably the greatest player in Sharks franchise history. He ended his career leading the Sharks with the most goals (522), points (1,111) and games played (1,607) in franchise history.

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During his 21 seasons in San Jose, Marleau led the Sharks to the playoffs 17 times. That’s truly astounding considering how much fluctuation there is in the NHL’s Western Conference.

Marleau almost ascended the mountain top, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016. Ultimately, they fell to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. Crosby earned MVP honors. That was the first of two straight championships for the Penguins.

Patrick Marleau was drafted by the Sharks with the number two overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft. Amazingly, when Marleau passed Howe for most games played, he had only missed 31 games during his illustrious career.