PITTSBURGH -- Patrick Marleau has experienced so many of the twists and turns along the San Jose Sharks' long road to the Stanley Cup Final, it would have been almost cruel if he wasn't around now to be part of it.
But if rumors last November of Marleau wanting out reached fruition and he had gotten his wish, he would not be here with the Sharks getting ready for Game 1 of the Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).
According to multiple reports, Marleau, 36, asked Sharks general manager Doug Wilson to trade him, submitting a list of three teams he would accept a move to: the New York Rangers, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. All of those teams will be watching while the Sharks are playing Monday. Marleau, 36, is glad he didn't leave.
"It would be hard to imagine that," Marleau said Sunday. "I'm extremely happy to be here."
Marleau didn't admit he asked for a trade but said he has no interest in leaving the Sharks.
"Yeah, I'm happy right now where I'm at," Marleau said.
Marleau has been with the Sharks his entire NHL career. San Jose selected him with the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft held at Pittsburgh Civic Arena, one spot after Joe Thornton, who was traded to the Sharks in 2005, was taken No. 1 by the Boston Bruins.
Marleau, the Sharks' all-time leader with 481 goals and 1,036 points, has experienced some great moments in the 19 years since then, but also some disappointments, including having the captaincy taken away from him in 2009 and missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2002-03. Seeing reports that he was looking to leave San Jose wasn't easy either.
"When those rumors start swirling and things like that, you can't control them, so you just try to control what you can do, and what I can do is just come to the rink ready to play each and every day," Marleau said.
Marleau has done his part in helping the Sharks reach the Final for the first time in their 25-year history with four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 18 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Being four wins away from being able to lift the Cup, he appreciates even more all he's been through with the Sharks and the opportunity in front of them.
"It's great being in one spot and going through all those seasons up to now, and seeing the fan base change and get bigger over the years, it's huge," he said. "For us, we've never been [in Cup Final], so it's huge for us, but we've still got one more step to go."
by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer