Patrick Marleau was traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday, and while some welcomed the move due to cap concerns, it was a bittersweet goodbye for the core of the team.
Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner were crushed to learn of their friend’s departure from the Maple Leafs. Marleau and his family hosted Matthews and Marner while they got settled as professionals during their rookie season, and the veteran forward was lauded for his leadership and composure off the ice.
Matthews took to Instagram to say farewell.
“Thanks for welcoming me into your family and treating me like one of your own,” Matthews wrote. “I learned so much from you both on and off the ice and I’ll cherish your friendship and the memories we had the last two years forever. My brother for life. Love you Patty.”
Marleau is social media averse, but he shared a goodbye message from his wife Christina’s Twitter account. Marner responded with a simple heart emoji. Sometimes that’s all it takes to show someone you love them.
Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock weighed in on Marleau afterwards.
Mike Babcock on trading Patrick Marleau: "Well obviously Patty is a good man. We acquired him for a reason, to help us, and I believe he was a big part in recruiting John Tavares. This is situation where he's going to move somewhere else and pursue his career. We just thank him."
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) June 22, 2019
Nazem Kadri also penned his goodbye to Marleau on Instagram.
Saying goodbye is never easy but if this iteration of the Maple Leafs eventually lifts the Cup, they’ll have to thank Marleau for everything he did during his time in Toronto.
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