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Would Patrick Marleau Fit the Thrashers?

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Trade talk is dominating the minds of many Thrasher fans and Patrick Marleau is one of those guys being talked as being available. Marleau is in the midsts of a terrible season offensively. He's only producing half a point a game which is a huge drop from his two previous years where he was a point per game player. The big question is whether this is just an off year or a long slump or if he is injured. (Edit: he just left the Sharks game with a groin injury--is that a new problem or an old one is the question I suppose.)

Looking at his career I'm leaning towards an off year. People have off years sometimes-it just happens. But few players fall off the cliff at age 28. There a couple of offensive stars who flamed out young Jimmy Carson and Trottier come to my mind but in both cases injuries were the central factor. If Marleau is indeed generally healthy I would expect a bounce back next season.

Another question is whether he is worth the $6 million a year he is owed the next two seasons. If he is a point per game player then it isn't a bad contract if he is just a 50-60 point player--well that's not so good.

Another thing that jumps out is that he has played a ton of NHL games (771) for someone who is just 28 years old. At this point Marleau is a ten year NHL veteran--I didn't realize he had played in the league for that many years.

Age/NHL Points-per-game
18 0.43
19 0.56
20 0.49
21 0.64
22 0.56
23 0.70
24 0.71
25 lockout
26 1.05
27 1.01
28 0.50

Another interesting fact is that Marleau is one of those rare players where his career playoff scoring rate (.70) is actually higher than his regular season career scoring rate (.67). Overall scoring is down significantly in the playoffs so the average NHL player sees a decline in their playoff points per game but this is not the case for Marleau over his career.