Owen Nolan, who played for the San Jose Sharks from 1995-2003, officially announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon at a press conference (via San Jose Mercury News). Nolan will sign a one-day contract that will guarantee he finishes his career as a San Jose Shark.Nolan will go down as one of the greatest players to every don the black and teal jersey. By all means, he was the "glue guy",
What is a "glue guy?"
Glue is an adhesive, and according to Webster’s Dictionary, the physics definition of adhesive is “a force that exists in the area of contact between unlike bodies and that acts to unite them.” Thus, a "glue guy" is one who keeps the team together.
Every team needs a player like this—a player who will make all of the sacrifices necessary to be the glue that holds the team together. Glue players are paramount when the team needs a clutch performance.
So, with all that being said, where will Owen Nolan rank among the top glue guys in San Jose Sharks' team history?
Read on to find out.
5. Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton, the current captain of the San Jose Sharks, has only been a Shark for six full seasons. However, he has definitely made his presence felt.
Thornton single-handedly turned the Sharks' 2005-2006 around after being traded to San Jose midseason. The Sharks had lost 10 games in a row but made an amazing turnaround to finish fifth in the Western Conference and make the playoffs.
"Jumbo" Joe was named the league's MVP, and led the league with 125 points. He was also responsible for the assists that he dished out to linemate Jonathon Cheechoo, who finished with 56 goals to lead the NHL.
Even as he has aged, Thornton's production has definitely not decreased. He currently has the second most points in San Jose Sharks' history, and is a staple on their top line every single game.
It is definitely safe to say that Joe Thornton is one of the best "glue guys" in team history.
4. Evgeni Nabokov
Evgeni Nabokov will probably be remembered most for the save he made against the Dallas Stars in the playoffs, in a game that would last four overtimes. He backstopped the Sharks from 1999-2010, and during that time, he proved that he could be counted on as a "glue guy."
In his first ever NHL start, Nabokov dueled th Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy and earned a shutout. He won the Calder Cup Trophy for Rookie of the Year, and was an All-Star that year as well.
Since then, "Nabby" was a staple in net for the Sharks. He has done it all game after game, being the stellar last line of defense that every team desires.
Heck, he's even scored a goal!
Nabokov was not re-signed after the 2009-2010 season, and he is now playing for the New York Islanders.
However, Sharks fans will always remember him as their "glue goalie" for a decade.
3. Doug Wilson
The first-ever captain and current GM of the San Jose Sharks, Doug Wilson has been the heart and soul of this franchise ever since its first days.
Wilson was acquired by the Sharks via trade before the 1991-1992 season, and was the inaugural captain of the team. He only played two seasons for the Sharks, but he brought talent, leadership and instant credibility to a young and unproven franchise.
But he was not done.
In 2003, Wilson replaced Dean Lombardi as GM of the San Jose Sharks, and has done a fine job. He is responsible for trading for the aforementioned Joe Thornton and sniper Dany Heatley, among others. He has made several draft picks that have worked out extremely well: Jonathon Cheechoo, Devin Setoguchi, Ryane Clowe, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture were all drafted under his tenure.
Wilson is a big reason why the Sharks have made the playoffs every single year since he took over as GM. His passion and commitment to this organization has earned him a spot among the top "glue guys" in team history.
2. Owen Nolan
One of Owen Nolan's best moments was when he called his own shot in the 1997 NHL All-Star Game at HP Pavilion. However, there is much more to his illustrious career that has earned him the distinguished honor of being a "glue guy."
Drafted first overall in 1990 by the Quebec Nordiques, Nolan played five seasons before being traded to the Sharks. During his tenure with San Jose, Nolan was named captain of the team, and finished third for most points in Sharks' history with 451.
Nolan, a four-time All-Star, is perhaps best known for his slap shot from center ice during the playoffs against St. Louis in 2000.
Despite retiring as a Shark, Nolan has also played for six other teams in his career. However, he will forever be considered one of the best "glue guys" in San Jose Sharks' history.
David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News summed up Nolan's career: "But in teal he personified the team itself—a feisty bunch coached by Darryl Sutter with a star player who reflected that same, no-holds-barred approach."
1. Patrick Marleau
There is no doubt that Patrick Marleau is the ultimate "glue guy" in San Jose Sharks' team history.
Drafted second in 1997, Marleau has been with the Sharks ever since, epitomizing a "glue guy." Through the good times and the bad, Marleau has always been there to do his best to stick the team together.
He was named captain after Owen Nolan's departure in 2003 until 2009, when it was given to Rob Blake. During this period, Marleau led by example, his quiet leadership paving the road for current Sharks' captain Joe Thornton to take the reigns.
Marleau is the Sharks' all-time leader in goals and points. He is the youngest player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-game mark with one team.
Marleau is perhaps the most underrated player in the NHL. He has averaged over 26 goals per season, and is consistently one of the best players on the Sharks. However, he does not receive much national attention. This is probably the way he likes it. Playing with stars such as Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns—among others—it's easy to be overlooked.
Marleau is never flashy, and definitely never cocky or arrogant. His demeanor on and off the ice is what has given him the adoration and support of fans, teammates and coaches. He is available to the media and willing to answer questions, even after a bad game.
He always does his job—offensively and defensively—and, when called upon, he shines through with his veteran experience and leadership.
Marleau is the perfect model of what every NHL player should strive to be: always dependable, consistent and never complaining. He is "Mr. San Jose Shark." It is because of these reasons that Patrick Marleau is the best "glue guy" in San Jose Sharks' history.