For 21 years, no one represented the San Jose Sharks like Patrick Marleau. Now, after 23 NHL seasons, the 42-year-old is hanging up his skates and officially retiring.

Marleau made the announcement with a post in The Players Tribune.

“Today, I announce my retirement from hockey, ” wrote Marleau. “It’s bittersweet for sure, but I have so much to look forward to. Who knows what the world has in store for me. If you would have told that kid on the frozen pond that he would break a games-played record held by none other than Gordie Howe, he would have thought you were crazy. It was never something I aimed for; it was just me loving this game so much that I never, ever wanted to hang up my skates. I am beyond lucky to have had the career I had, but I did not get here by myself.”

In 23 seasons in the NHL with San Jose, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Pittsburgh Penguins, Marleau played 1,779 games, the most by any player in league history. In that time he amassed 566 goals and 1,197 points in the regular season as well as 72 goals and 127 points in 195 postseason games.

Marleau was never able to win a Stanley Cup but he retires as the all-time Sharks leader in career games played, goals (522), points (1,111), power-play goals (163), shorthanded goals (17), game-winning goals (101) and shots (3,953).

He also won two Olympic gold medals with Canada, in 2010 and 2014, and won gold at both the 2003 World Championships and 2004 World Cup.

The news that Marleau was retiring brought out tons of reactions and much appreciation for the all-timer.

[Players Tribune, ESPN]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.