San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton voiced his support Tuesday for former teammate Patrick Marleau, who went unsigned as a free agent this off-season.

“He should be playing somewhere," Thornton said, per Kevin Kurz of The Athletic. "I expect he’ll be somewhere soon. He skates with us in the summer and he’s still the best skater on the ice.” 

Marleau was pictured skating at the Sharks’ training facility with Thornton during the summer, but Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in September he wouldn’t be signed by the team.

The 40-year-old became an unrestricted free agent in June after he was bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes following a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A veteran of 21 seasons, Marleau scored 16 goals and added 21 assists in 82 games with the Leafs last season and added a pair of assists in seven playoff games. He served as captain of the Sharks from 2003-09 and said in June he believes he could play even beyond this season.

"I could see myself playing beyond this next year. I still feel really good and I still feel I can contribute," Marleau told at the time. "Last year wasn't a very good year by my standards, so I'm looking forward to proving that wrong. That kind of gets the adrenaline going. You have to prove yourself year after year. I look forward to doing that this year."

Marleau has 551 goals and 1,166 points in 1,657 career games with the Sharks and Maple Leafs.