Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Is Maroon the one to go?

As you’d expect for a team in the league’s basement, the rumours are circling around the Edmonton Oilers. There’s been a lot of names floating about, and now the insiders are saying their piece. 

With cap issues coming, everyone has been guessing as to which players will get moved to ease the pressure. Most of us, myself included (?), think that Nuge is the one to move, but both Elliotte Friedman and Bob McKenzie don’t seem to see it that way.

In this week’s 31 Thoughts, Friedman mentions Pat Maroon as being the one that could get shipped out.

“Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the sexy name, but Pat Maroon is the most likely Oiler to be traded if things continue this way. Wonder if hometown St. Louis would be an option. The Blues are looking for scoring depth, and Maroon can give you exactly that.”

When you think about, the idea of moving Maroon over Nuge does make sense. RNH is a 24-year-old centre that is developing into one of the Oilers’ best two-way options, while Pat Maroon is 29-years-old and likely on the back nine of his career. With all things considered, which guy makes more sense to have around long term when there are finite dollars on the table?

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Meanwhile, Bob McKenzie jumped on TSN 1260 with Dustin Nielsen to talk about Nuge and whether or not the Oilers would actually consider moving him.

“I can’t imagine that the Edmonton Oilers have any interest in parting company with him unless somebody comes with – everybody is tradable. If somebody came with a top-pairing defenseman, but who does that?”

I mean, sure… If the Oilers can realistically get a top pairing defenceman then moving Nuge probably makes sense but that’s not something that happens all that often. Like Bob said, most sane teams don’t move their top end guys unless they absolutely have to. Not to mention, isn’t that what the Hall trade was supposed to be?

“Who would call up the Oilers and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a top-pairing defenseman here who’s going to be great for you and makes the same money and he’s the same age and let’s do a straight one-for-one swap.’ I suppose it’s possible, but I’m not holding my breath for it.”

Okay, Bob. We get it. People don’t really trade top pairing defencemen once they get them. But what about centremen that they’ve developed over the past seven years? The Oilers need to keep the good players they have, but what does that mean for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. What’s going to happen to my beloved Nugey?

“If I were the Oilers, I’d have happy to have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the lineup more nights than not.”

Amen, Bob. Let the Year of Nuge continue. Draft good players, develop those players, and keep them forever. Makes sense, right? What say you, Nation?

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      • 99CupsofCoffey

        The article starts with “As you’d expect for a team in the league’s basement…” My point is that it’s possible we wouldn’t be in the basement with better spending of THIS year’s cap. So i disagree with you.

        • Natejax97

          so he can sign someone to a 1 year 5 million dollar deal? lots of those floating around hey!! Anyone who is worth that coin is looking at term, which we cannot offer. Maybe, just maybe that cap space looks really good come deadline time when we can pick up an expiring contract. That, I assume was the plan. This article is about the line moved to the other side of the spectrum and which Oilers could be sold at the deadline for assets if we slip out of the playoff race. To say Chia didn’t use the 5 million wisely needs to come with the caveat “and didn’t mess up the cap for next year” with it.

          • 99CupsofCoffey

            i partly agree with you. now that he saved it, the Deadline is the only time it’s worth anything. But by not using it last summer, we may be “sellers” at the deadline, and it’s a moot point.

          • You have to understand how cap space works at the deadline. The Oilers have something like 40 million to spend at the deadline as things stand now.

            If we are talking about dealing for an expired contract at the deadline then saving all that space made absolutely zero sense.

  • ziyan94

    Looking at CapFriendly, we’ll have $14m in space next year, with the following people to possibly sign.
    RFAs: Benning, Nurse, Strome, Slep, Drake, Brossoit
    UFAs: Letestu, Maroon, Cammalleri, Auvitu

    Not sure how much Maroon will cost, but I can’t see the Oilers keeping him if he demands a significant raise for his next contract. He has provided great value, but that value will decline as he gets older and once his contract isn’t dirt-cheap anymore.
    Also not sure whether a possible change in the cap ceiling will affect all this

      • Vanoil

        Camalleri, Strome & Auvitu are gone. Benning at $3.25M AAV on a three year deal, Nurse on a $3.85M – 4.25M five year deal, Slep and Drake on identicle $2.5M-3M 3 year deals, Broissoit 2 x $1.15M, Letestu 2 x $1.25M, Marroon 4 x 3.5 heavilly front loaded.

        • Beer_League_Ringer

          Whoa whoa whoa. Slep at 2.5mil/year? I am glad you aren’t GM. 2pts in 12gp this year. NHL totals: 13pts in 64gp. And people complain about Chiarelli… Try a one year show me @ 0.75mil?

    • Ginbaby

      It doesn’t matter what Chia does. He will ve criticized for not doing the opposite. GM of the year candidate and coach of the year candidate last year. Huge turn around and because his team has regressed, with the help of this website among others he is thought to be incompetent. Lets maybe stop the whining Oilersnation, and lets go oilers.

      • Samesame

        Gm of the year is a useless award. It doesn’t prove anything other than we had a pretty good year after a decade of awfulness. Why does him inheriting Connor and talbot playing all world to carry this team somehow make him an elite gm? He gutted the high end depth. He gambled and lost on relying on unproven talent to all develop and play significant positive roles on a developing team desperate to keep progressing in Connors last cheap year.
        And hurt the cap going forward too making it extremely difficult to do anything but just hope puju /yammy turn into great players. He’s an awful gm amd some meaningless nomination doesn’t change that

        • Ginbaby

          It is useless to be acknowledged by one’s peers? Have to disagree with that statement. He traded for Talbot for very little and added a solid RD for a very good player in Hall. Every GM new he was looking for a D. Should he have waited to trade Eberle when he was desperate? Not sure that would have netted a better return. Also added 27 goals for Martin Gernat. I won’t say he hasn’t made mistakes because he has, but so has every GM. It is foolish to believe that that this team would be a contender with Hall and Ebs, as much as I like those players. Maybe he doesn’t get a chance to make it right to see it through, but I would warn there was a revolving door in the d.o.d. of coaches and GMs and I don’t want to regress to that.

      • FISTO Siltanen

        Yup. Exactly.

        Had he found a better LHD to shelter Klefbom and Klef struggled this year like he has people would complain and say it’s because Chiarelli showed how little confidence he had in the player. But he didn’t get an upgrade…so he was stupid for expecting a young player to improve.

        Take a look in Ottawa at all those picks and prospects PLUS Turris and see how well Duchene is doing.

        Want that GM?

  • Spaceman Spiff

    It has long been my belief that, one minute after the free agency window opens on July 1, 2018, Patrick Maroon will sign a multi-year contract with his hometown St. Louis Blues. IMO, there are many personal and professional reasons for him to sign there. I’m not saying I’d like it – the last thing the Oilers need is for the Blues to get bigger and better – but to me, it makes too much sense. It’d be nice if he’d stay here and sign a contract to that effect before July 1, but as Oiler fans know … NO ONE does that. No player ever avoids the unrestricted open market. Maroon’s gone, it’s just a matter of when. If the Oilers can work out an exit strategy to their benefit, great.

  • Señor Frijoles

    I love Maroon, but it’s kind of a no-brainer … you trade pending UFAs that you probably can’t sign. Keeping Maroon vs keeping RNH? How is that even a question?

  • TKB2677

    I believe that players like Maroon and Lucic still have value in this league. You still need guys that will hit someone in your top 6, you still need someone to win puck battles in corners, you still need someone to battle in front of the goal. Where those type of players really have value is the playoffs because the refs ALWAYS put the whistles away so it turns into survival of the fittest hockey on a lot of nights. A 5’10, 185lbs player isn’t going to be able to do what I described on a night by night basis. But in saying that and as much of a fan I am of Maroon, with the league getting faster almost by the day, you can’t have Lucic and Maroon on your team regardless of the salary. You can have one but not both. With Lucic being signed long term with the no move, he’s the guy. Plus in my opinion, as they get older, there is a better chance that Lucic will still be productive later in his career vs Maroon AND Lucic has proven he can produce without playing a lot with McDavid while Maroon’s success is almost all with McDavid.

  • Oiler Al

    No sure how permenant this is, but Maroon is moved off the McDavid line, to be show cased as player outside of # 97 s
    wing, playing as a second or third liner which is what he is. Other wise every trade talk would be …. ya but he plays with McDaivd. etc etc.

  • puckle-head

    Yes please. I like what Maroon brings, but he’s due for a pay raise and that money should go towards our upcoming RFAs. If Chiarelli can manage to move him for a younger, faster, cheaper player who’s maybe not proven themselves yet, then he should do it. Beats his usually MO of picking up players who are slower, bigger, with waaaay more dollars and term attached to them.

  • I am Batman

    Maybe we get that D Pittsburgh is moving around (Cole?) plus a pick? Then when Sekera comes back we flip said D for a winger? I dunno, whatever, just win tonight

  • Clayton

    I have said Maroon would be the guy to go for a while. Simply because he is UFA at the end of the year, likely getting a raise and most importantly no matter what Chia gets for him it would be a win for him…got Maroon for next to nothing and as long as he gets something he wins. He can also throw down the arguement that getting something is better than nothing, they weren’t going to be able to resign him and that is the market was worth. If he trades Nuge unless he wins the deal (LOL) people can always say he shouldn’t make it!

  • J.R.

    Well if one of those two has to leave I’d rather Maroon goes…although any fears about having him re-up on a big salary are likely fading with the year he has had so far.

    RNH is part of the solution, not the problem. My two cents anyway.

  • Boom76

    Here’s a question for the group, how much do you think each of the following would receive in a fair, negotiated contract? Like I don’t know, but would love to see some of your estimates… Then it’s math and mix and match against $14m:


    • J.R.

      A few of those guys aren’t coming back. Cammalleri and Auvitu are probably gone. Arguable that 2 or 3 others on that list might not be here either.

      I totally realize that I contributed zero to actually answering your question.

    • Big Nuggets

      Nurse 4.2 – 5 yrs
      Benning 2.5 – 2 yrs
      Strome 3.2 -2 yrs (its an overpay but thats how it goes with high draft picks)
      Slepy – 1.8 – 2 yrs
      Drake – 2 – 3 yrs
      Broissoit 1.8 – 2 yrs
      Maroon 3 – 3 yrs (tough to call this one, he will want long term and we still have to see how many goals he can rack up this season)
      Letestu – pay-cut or walk
      Auvitu – same contract
      Cammy – replaced by Jesse P.

      Thats my guestimation.
      Most likely not all will be back because of trades and other signings

  • Total Points

    Benning – 2m, Nurse – 4.5m, Strome – 2m, Slep – gone, Drake 2m, Broisoist – gone Letestu – gone, Maroon – gone, Cammalleri – gone, Auvitu – gone

  • Reinman

    Let him go, and Letestube too. I think his best days are behind him ( Letestube that is). I like Maroon, he is a good player, but everyone needs to suffer for Lucic being on the team. Only hope is Lucic eventually wants out of the DoD II.

  • TKB2677

    Here is what I think.
    Benning – No more than 2 yrs at 2.5. I could see closer too 2 mill which would still double his salary. I still don’t think they know what he is and won’t at the end of the year. I don’t think his agent knows what he is yet either.
    Nurse – If he keeps playing like he is, I see a Klefbom contract 5-6 yrs, 4.2 mill. You can’t give him more than Klef.
    Strome – Unless he knocks it out of the park the rest of the year. I don’t see how he is making more than the 2.5 mill he makes now. I could see 1 yr – 2.5 mill on a show me deal or he is traded.
    Slep, – 1 yr at 1.5. A show me deal. It’s still a nice raise. Lots of time and room to knock one out of the park if he plays well and establishes what kind of player he is. The GM comes out and admits he’s got no clue what he is because he can’t stay in the line up. I don’t see him all of a sudden taking off given the way the year as gone. He could be a top 6 guy, top 9 or a 4th liner for all anyone knows.
    Drake – 1 yr at 1.5. A show me deal. Again, a nice raise. Lots of time to knock one out of the park and get paid if he plays well. He’s exactly the same as Slep. What is he? Top 6, top 9, 4th liner? Pretty tough for even his agent to argue that point unless he suddenly takes off.
    Broisoit – He needs to pick it up big time otherwise it might be time to move on. I see him getting a 1 yr at 800K max.
    Letestu – He’s gone. He will be 33 in Feb. His speed is dropping. He’s not longer a PP witch. You can find a cheap 4th line center to go out there give you 10 mins and kill some penalties. Maybe the replacement is Khaira who is signed for 1 more year at 675K.
    Maroon – I don’t think he’s signed. I don’t think as a team you can have 2 slower guys in your top 6 like Maroon and Lucic. Regardless, he will get north of 4.5 from some team. If he is willing to signed a 2 yr deal at 3 mill, then sure but I don’t see it. Why would he.
    Cammalleri – Bye bye. There are guys like Cammalleri that you can sign for a mill or less every year these days if you think you need it.
    Auvitu – Bye bye. Still can’t figure out his use. He moves the puck better than Gryba and skates better. Great AND? He can’t defend what so ever. He’s timid in his own zone and allows the opposition to basically get the puck in the corner whenever they want, take it to the goal whenever they want and push him out of the way in front of the net whenever they want because he is afraid to get touched. Unless this guy all of sudden starts filling the net, you should be able to find a 7-8 dman for cheap that isn’t afraid to be touched. I am sure they will have someone on the farm that can fill his role. When Sekera comes back and if everyone is healthy, he won’t see the ice again.