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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Maroon wants to stay on the first line

Ever since coming over from Anaheim, Pat Maroon has basically been a fixture on Connor McDavid’s wing and if he has any say in the matter that’s where he plans on staying.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I remember the relatively small deadline day deal that brought Pat Maroon to town and thinking that he would be a nice complimentary player and that’s it. Little did I know that the player he would compliment the most was Connor McDavid and that the pairing would catch fire together. Knowing how to play with Connor McDavid is a skill in itself, and Pat Maroon seems to have figured it out quite nicely.

Last season, the 29-year-old Maroon set career highs in goals and points (27G & 15A for 42 points) riding shotgun with McDavid and Draisaitl and their success was not lost on him.

From NHL.com:

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“Obviously without those two I wouldn’t have the success I did, but sometimes you’ve got to give yourself some credit too. Those two are very tremendous players, and for me I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing to stay with them.”

I love everything about Pat Maroon. This guy knows that he found a winning lottery ticket in the chemistry he has with the two best players on the team and he’s not going to leave that line without putting up a fight. I love it. What else?

“Obviously Todd McLellan had a really big part in that. He gave me an opportunity to play with those two. For me, I’ve just got to continue what I did last year, come in really good shape again, and hopefully good things fall into place again.”

If you go back and look, you can find rumblings of Maroon showing up in less than stellar shape and it’s nice to know that he’s taking his fitness much more seriously. Hell, the guy was even called ‘Fat Pat‘ early on his career, a label that he surely never wants to see again. Who knows what finally made it click for the Big Rig but I’m sure as shit happy it did.

Keep talking to me, Patty. Tell me more about the hockey.

“Playing with Connor and Leon Draisaitl last year, a lot of people don’t give Leon enough credit because there’s always Connor there.”

More love for Leon? I can get behind that. Break it down for us.

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“I think with both of them together really helped me out last year. They obviously see things that certain players don’t see. So for me, I think I was trying to do my part, be big and strong, go to the net hard and hoping for them to find me and hopefully clean up the mess if they got a shot or whatever.”

I mean, the guy surely benefitted from being able to work well with the two best players on the team—there’s no doubt about it. Just think of how Milan Lucic must feel right now. That was supposed to be HIS job and HIS slot on Connor’s line but it’s the Big Rig that saddled up in the slot. When you talk about seizing an opportunity it’s hard not to think about Pat Maroon making the best of the chance he was given, something Lucic couldn’t manage to do.Personally, I’d be surprised if Maroon didn’t start the year to Connor’s left

Personally, I’d be surprised if Maroon didn’t start the year to Connor’s left and I think it will be a fight to take that job away from him.

ON BUILDING OFF OF LAST YEAR

Mar 23, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon (19) attempts to score on Colorado Avalanche goalie Jeremy Smith (40) in the third period at the Pepsi Center. The Oilers defeated the Avalanche 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing that we’ve heard hundreds of times over the course of this offseason it’s whether the Oilers seem to know about that more people will be paying attention to them during the coming season. When asked about what it’s going to take for the Oilers to build off of last year’s success, Maroon repeated the same hot truth that we’ve been hearing all summer.

“I think for us, we can’t expect to just do it again.”

Damn straight! Tell us what you need to do, Pat. Talk to the people.

“We’ve got to start out of the gate hot and play how we’re capable of playing and go into the season with confidence and a swagger that we are a good hockey team.”

Yes! A team full of swag daddies. But wasn’t “swagger” a Lucic line? Are you stealing another thing from Looch here? This could get awkward. Let’s move on, Pat. Let’s not bring more attention to the fact that you took his spot again.

“I think everyone’s excited to get this season started. Last year was a tough fall to Anaheim, but we’ve bounced and we came a long way. It was a proud moment not only for the organization but the players to see how far we came from the year before to doing that. I think the guys are really excited and anxious to get the season started. We know what we’re capable of and we know what we have to do to make the playoffs again.”

I don’t know how many of these interview breakdowns I’ve done so far this summer, but they all seem to touch on the same basic ideas. The players know that nothing will be given to them and that the expectations are going to be raised 10 fold, but it’s one thing to know what needs to be done and it’s another to execute on it. I’m excited for the season to get here so we can all stop talking and start seeing. You know what I mean.

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ON THE FINAL YEAR OF HIS CONTRACT

Mar 4, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon (19) celebrates his third period goal against the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

One thing we’re going to hear a lot more as the season goes on is how Pat Maroon is heading into the last year of his three-year contract (thanks for paying a chunk, Anaheim). If he can repeat the year he just had then the guy is set to make bank, and the Oilers won’t exactly be ripe with cash. If Maroon wants, he could be an unrestricted free agent after the coming season is over, but, at least for now, his focus is on making the playoffs and trying to win a Stanley Cup.

“That’s been my lifetime goal since I was a little kid. I think Edmonton has a chance to do that. I want to play wherever I can win. It’s not about anything else, but I just want to go out there.”

Even though he’s talking hockey, you know the business side will creep up eventually. When asked if he feels like Edmonton would be in the mix, Maroon didn’t hesitate.

“I love Edmonton, I love the city, I love the fans. If I can keep playing in that jersey for the next few years, I would love to do it.”

We love you too, Pat, and we’d be happy to have you. Just remember everything you just said when the negotiations start.


  • I am Batman

    Now is when us fans start speculating about the “hometown discount ” he will give us in a year.
    Funny…. I’ve never seen a REAL hometown discount…
    Maroon will want 6.25 x 4
    And that’s good bye territory

    • PimpTaco

      Maroon and his agent know that he is nowhere the game changer who can command a line on his own and drive the play. Players getting the salary you noted drive lines. Maroon is a complimentary player who we all love.

      He knows why he got a career high last year. It’s not from him flying down the wing and drawing defenders to him. It’s mostly because McDavid and Draisaitl draw defenders and he gets forgotten about. Which works for me, and I am sure Maroon as well. 2 years x 4 would be sweet.

      • Bills Bills

        2X4 would be great. It would also be incredibly unlikely. He will be over 30 and he knows it will be his last chance to make bank. You don’t like it and you will want to trash me but you know in your heart it is true. This isn’t personal, just a guy looking out for the future of him and his family. I don’t begrudge him one little bit. It is not like he’s had a chance to bank millions over his career.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Gotta love the Big Rig – he brings alot more to the team than a LW compliment on the first line.

    I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep him – he’s the exact type of player that will price himself out of our cap structure (as his box cars will be replaceable by cheaper contracts) but alot can change in 10 months – we’ll worry about that when the time comes and, for right now, we’ll make great use of his $1.5M cap hit.

      • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

        I also think that most of the smart GMs around the league will realize that Maroon’s success has a lot to do with McDavid, so while I think that he will command a much higher salary, I don’t think he’ll be offered anything that will price him out of what the Oilers will be able to afford. He also realizes that he’s a good fit in Edmonton and that counts for a lot.

        • dsanchez1973

          Most GMs yes. However, it only takes one to offer him 5M+ and he’s gone, as he should. As others have said, this is his last chance to make big money. He’s had a long career and done ok, but it looks like he’s made less than 10M lifetime; cut half of that for taxes and such, and it’s not clear he’s set for life now. I love him as an Oiler but I wouldn’t begrudge a player like this fighting for every dollar he can get wherever he can get it from.

    • HOCKEY83

      Not sure you can call it a hometown discount rather more of an intelligent move on his part if he wants to keep playing top line minutes in the NHL. I don’t think that position would be open to him anywhere else in the league. If he was smart he would go 6 year 3mil

    • I am Batman

      Can i please get examples in the post 2005 NHL where players really took discounts to play with a team?
      I insist, it’s an urban myth, but maybe you guys have examples.,,. Horcoff???? ?

        • I am Batman

          ? terrible example.
          McD still made more than ANY player EVER and he was closer to league max than to whatever people in this site were saying (I even saw some idiotic posts of how he would wanna stay in this wonderful city for less than 10), plus the Oilers held most of the cards him being RFA and what not.
          I think McDavid’s salary is fair, for everyone.
          How that compares to Maroon who will be in a “Cash before glory” mode given his age and all….
          you have any other examples?

  • OriginalPouzar

    I don’t expect him to score close to 30 again this year and be among the league leaders in ES goals – I do expect a bit of a regression in his goals – still in the low-mid 20s.

    With respect to contract, I don’t expect any sort of discount – lets not forget, Patty was in the AHL just a few years ago. Although I don’t think he’s having trouble putting food on the table, this will be his one chance for “big money”” with term. I don’t see him signing for less than 4 years and less than $4M/year if he’s over 20 goals again.

    Frankly, that is likely too rich for our cap structure and we will likely have to let the big man walk. His offence can be replicated on the 1st line with a cheaper contract that is a value deal (like his contract is now). We will lose all the secondary parts of his game – the skilled size, the “play for and protect your teammates”, the “swagger” – it will be a sad day to let the Big Rig go, however, unless something changes in the next 10 months, its a likely scenario.

    We need to keep the centers over the wingers. Wingers to score with elite centers can be found much easier than material centers.

    • CDNinATL

      What Pat knows is where he needs to be at pretty much any given time and it’s working like a charm for him. They may ask for 6 million but we can’t afford that. $3.5 million would be ideal but I think it’ll be $4 per. Probably 4 years. That is unless Toronto thinks he can recreate that with Matthews.

  • Oiler Al

    There might not be room on the cap front. Maroons lunch is eaten by Lucici , like Draisaitl will eat Nuge’s lunch. For certain Oil cant afford Nuge Lucici and Maroon after this season. Something will have to give,

  • Maroon will likely be too much next year, but I could see Kassian stepping into those shoes. Keeps some muscle, speed and decent hands and net presence with Connor – would be getting good value out of that Kassian contract.

  • OilCan2

    The Oilers are going to be the league leader in uncalled penalties this year. Look no further than Talbot getting mugged by (not called) Kessler last year to end our run. Maroon knows everyone is going to bring their ‘A’ game against the Oilers. He also knows they have the goods on every other hockey team. We’ll see who wants to sign up for cheap after having a sip from Stanley this spring.

  • Consultant

    I suspect Draisaitl’s cap hit gives Lucic another try on that line. Contract wise they need more out of Lucic and he can play the same role. If Maroon gets the spot, they know they’ll likely lose him to UFA $. Bank on it – Lucic starts 1LW.

  • Ranford.85

    Big Rig is a beaut. No one denies that.
    But he’s never been this successful in his whole NHL career (drafted ’07). I would bet that he’s not blind to that, to his opportunity here and would truly like to stay an Oiler. Yes he’s banking for his family and future, but he has had a rather modest career and he knows he’s not getting any younger.
    What a season for your new contract though, he may knock it out of the park.
    Looch is plan B I guess, though I’d love to see Kassian play 10-15 games on McDavid’s wing, minus PP time.
    In the end, McD needs a scoring winger who can drop the gloves.

  • JimmyV1965

    I don’t want to be a grammar nazi but you should really understand the difference between complementary and complimentary. I see it wrong all the time in the comments, but a professional writer should know the difference. And the words have two distinct meanings.