It was a tough first day for the San Jose Sharks centre Patrick Marleau at the Canadian men's Olympic team orientation camp in Calgary: Not only did he have to discuss losing the captaincy of his NHL team, he was also asked to address a report circulating that he had scuttled a possible three-way deal with the Ottawa Senators involving Dany Heatley by refusing to waive his no-trade clause.
"That's the first I've heard of it, so no truth to it, I guess," Marleau said of the report in the Orange Country Register. "I haven't heard of it."
However, when asked specifically if the Sharks had asked him to waive his no-trade clause, Marleau said he "preferred" to keep that information to himself.
In short, he didn't completely rule it out.
One NHL source indicated yesterday the Sharks and Senators did discuss a possible deal for Heatley, but San Jose's preference was to move former 50-goal scorer Jonathan Cheechoo in any trade, another player who looks as if he needs a fresh start.
It appears as though Marleau is safe for at least another year. Not his captaincy.
The Sharks, upset by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs after winning the Presidents' Trophy, recently took the C from Marleau and the assistant captaincy from Joe Thornton. They will go into training camp with all the leadership letters up for grabs.