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Matthews wears Marleau jersey to delight of Sharks fans, players

Maple Leafs all-star pays tribute to teammate who spent 19 seasons in San Jose

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / Staff Writer

Matthews pays homage to Marleau

Accuracy Shooting: Matthews reveals Marleau jersey

Auston Matthews reveals a Patrick Marleau jersey much to the delight of Sharks fans in the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting

  • 01:12 •

Auston Matthews had something in common with the home crowd at SAP Center on Friday: A lot of love for Patrick Marleau.

During the 2019 Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting competition Friday, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward shed his sweater to reveal a Marleau jersey in front of the mostly pro-Sharks crowd.

Marleau spent 19 seasons with the Sharks and was their captain from 2003-09. He signed with the Maple Leafs before the 2017-18 season.

The crowd went wild at the gesture.

"It was amazing. I wasn't expecting that. It's just a testament to how much of legend he is here," Matthews said. "It's pretty amazing and everything he's done for the city of San Jose in his career here. All the cheering got me so nervous that I forgot there was five targets.

"I absolutely loved it... Incredible," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "Patty means a lot. Just about everyone who's come through this organization, he's left his mark. Incredible person. I think it was pretty cool for him to do that."

Matthews first thought of the jersey idea at dinner with his family on Thursday night, he said. Matthews and another young Maple Leafs forward, Mitchell Marner, have become fixtures in the Marleau household. Matthews even spent this past Christmas there.

"I like to make fun of him and call him like a second dad to me and he doesn't like it but he's like a brother to me," Matthews said. "We're extremely close with myself and Mitch. He's an amazing teammate. He treats everybody so well. It doesn't matter who you are, a random person in the street or a teammate that plays with him, he treats everybody so kindly."

Matthews' gesture on Friday did not go unnoticed.

Tweet from @c_marleau: 🥰😍🥰 @AM34, you���re awesome. Jersey kinda tight, though? 😉

"I try not to bother him," Matthews said. "I know he's on vacation but he texted me when I got off the ice and he said thanks that was awesome. I can't explain how great of a guy he is and how close we are. He's just an unbelievable person."

"We're extremely lucky to have him in Toronto, and I'm lucky to call him a very good friend," Matthews said. Staff Writers Cristina Ledra and Nick Cotsonika contributed to this report.

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