Are the Sharks a Stanley Cup contender without Marleau?

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SAN JOSE — Joe Thornton acknowledged that things felt “kind of strange” at the Sharks practice facilities Friday morning.

For the first time in 20 years, Sharks training camp opened without Thornton’s longtime friend and teammate, Patrick Marleau, who celebrated his 38th birthday roughly 2,700 miles away, practicing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team he joined via free agency on July 2 by signing a three-year, $18.75 million contract.

“I’ve spend a lot of years with him and it is kind of strange. It’s his birthday today, too, so it’s a little weird. But he’s going to do great up in Toronto,” Thornton said.

“He’s still a friend. We’re going to miss him. He’s in a different uniform, we’re in the same one.”



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