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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Trading Maroon?

In his latest instalment of 31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman suggested that while RNH was the sexy name in Oiler rumours, perhaps the more realistic name is Pat Maroon. Well, he’s right.

Peter Chiarelli made what I think was his best trade as Oiler GM (your mileage may vary) when he moved struggling prospect Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick for Patrick Maroon. There was almost no downside. Even if he had remained a bottom six forward, the Oilers gave up nothing of value or really of potential value to get him. What they ended up with was a top six LW who displaced Milan Lucic as McDavid’s winger.

Oh, and the Ducks retained 25% of his salary. Edmonton has only had to pay him $1,500,000 on the cap.

For that low price, the Oilers have received 70 points in 123 games, or a 0.57 points per game. He scored 27 goals last year and is on pace for 24 this year. Obviously, Edmonton would love to re-sign Patrick Maroon, but he’s a UFA on July 1st and the Oilers are over a cap barrel.

Put yourself in Maroon’s shoes for a minute. The Oilers traded away scoring wingers two seasons in a row and are desperate for offense from the wings. All you’ve done since arriving in Edmonton is score goals and connect with the best player in the game. You bring literally everything the team has asked from you. You have size, grit, hands and you’re in the prime of your career.

What else do you want?

As an NHL player, you have worked your entire life to be in a position to be a free agent (in a year when the cap is supposed to rise) that is desired by multiple teams in the league. This is the absolute height of your earning potential and it may never get better for you personally or financially.

Are you going to take less than you might get on the open market? Maybe.

Maybe playing with Connor McDavid (although he’s off that line right now) is enough to make you take $3.5 million/year for five years instead of letting someone blow their budget on your next contract. But maybe it just isn’t enough.

When it comes to trading Patrick Maroon, I am of the mind that if it can be avoided then it should be avoided. Get the man signed to a reasonable deal if humanly possible. However, if he walks away for nothing at the end of the season to sign in his hometown, where his family lives, then that’s an opportunity lost.

With the season having gone so poorly so early, it’s a tough pill to swallow that Maroon might be taken off the roster too, but he is the one in the driver seat. If he doesn’t sign a new deal before New Year’s day then I would like to think that Edmonton’s long term future becomes more important than salvaging this season in particular.

I don’t know what the rental market looks like, but for a cheap, big, skilled forward you would have to think a deal can be made that brings Edmonton a decent prospect or pick. You better believe that St Louis would pay a premium for a trade within conference for a guy who might sign there long term.

When it comes to replacing Maroon on the Oilers moving forward, you better believe that there will be a host of players who would want the job of being McDavid’s LW. Of course, I thought that about being McDavid’s RW and here we are 25 games into the season and it’s still not solved.

Is the grass greener on the other side for Maroon or the Oilers? I hope a deal can be made at a reasonable rate so we don’t have to find out.

  • dsanchez1973

    How many times has the Oiler fan base suggested pumping up a player’s value, then trading him at it’s peak, as opposed to waiting until his value is the absolute lowest for dumping him for pennies on the dollar? I am all in favor of trading Maroon, and it probably should have happened in the offseason. He seems to be a great guy, love him as a player, but his results are mostly a product of Connor. He also seems to be rather hated by the referees and is taking many more penalties than he’s drawing (fair or not). For a decent return, I’d thank him for his time here and wish him the best.

    • Rob...

      The calls by the refs have been baffling this year. There is no consistency, and bias against certain players seems to be sanctioned by the head of officiating; how else can you explain that it keeps happening. The league needs to punt the officials, break the union, and start from scratch. There are good, objective officials out there. They will miss calls, but they will also call the game as they see it without letting bias cloud their calls.

      I’m less concerned with Maroon getting called for making stupid decisions, which happens quite often, than I am with players like Nuge, Drai or Connor being blatantly hooked or interfered with without drawing a penalty, while the opponent’s offense might as well be skating with a sign on their back that reads ‘Fragile, No Touchies!’.

      • Clayton

        It is a league wide problem! Was at a pub watching the Oilers game on one screen and Flames game on another. Flames got a high sticking penalty when the stick didn’t hit the player (replay showed he missed by over a foot), but the Leaf flung his head back and the ref go sucked in. Then later the Leafs got two face off violations in a row on the same face off and didn’t get the mandatory minor penalty. But just 6 seconds later the refs realized their error, saw the Leafs get a scoring opportunity and quickly called Marleau for one of the weakest interference calls ever as he nudged Gio in front of the net in a play that happens 20-30 times a game without penalty.

      • EastVanOilFan

        tye Referees have hated the oilers for a longtime. #secretrefereesociety

        In all seriousness I’m reading a book on the history of Italian futbol (calcio) and there’s a referee chapter that talks about a clear bias towards and against certain clubs in serie a. Not a comparison the NHL refs should want

      • EastVanOilFan

        tye Referees have hated the oilers for a longtime. #secretrefereesociety

        In all seriousness I’m reading a book on the history of Italian futbol (calcio) and there’s a referee chapter that talks about a clear bias towards and against certain clubs in serie a. Not a comparison the NHL refs should want.

    • Disappointed

      Decent return..”………hmmmmm what does that mean? I’ll tell you what that means, a whole lot more grief for Chiarelli no matter what the return is. I all ready see some pitchforks out and torches being lit.

  • who

    Can’t afford to pay this player 3.5 million per year for the next 4 or 5 years. Who do you propose the Oilers trade or release in the coming years to make room for that contract.
    His skills are duplicated by Lucic who I would love to trade but he has a NMC. That pretty much seals Maroons fate. Trade him while he has some value. Dont lose him for nothing.

  • elliotsmom

    If the Oilers play doesn’t start showing some consistency asap, I think a trade, whether it’s Maroon, Slep, Cags….is right around the corner. Everyone is looking for answers, and wins to come, but nobody seems to know who or what the problem is. General Disappointment is starting to look and sound like he is in a panic situation. I would like to see the players start playing well and for each other, but a change in the coaching special teams (PP/PK) systems either improve or be replaced with someone that will be more successful.

  • Ryan Jones Is Still My Hero

    If only we had a 3rd pairing D-man that was making about 4 million/year that we could clear off the books to make room for him… I’m not even a Russell hater, but jeez that was a stupid signing.

  • PleaseWinOilers

    I actually think they should’ve moved him in the off-season when his value was through the roof. I know it would’ve been an unpopular move but there was no way he was going to score 27 again.

  • ed from edmonton

    Perhaps the only thing we know for sure is that the Oil will need to dump one contract prior to the 18/19, in a similar fashion to the Ebs dump last summer. Who gets dumped will depend on a lot of things, but perhaps as much as anything on how young players in the organization are progressing. PC didn’t state it yesterday, but one of the Oil must be very disappointed that none of their young wingers (Caggulia, Khaira, Sleppy, JP) have really established themselves as players who can be a positive force on a regular basis. Unless someone steps up it will ne more difficult for the Oil to step away from Maroon. If this is the case they may have to move a Dman. This may also depend on how dmen are progressing in the A (we know the Oil have zero forward prospects beyond Jr). If a Dman has to go, Russell would be the 1st choice but may be hard to move.

    PS I don’t know to laugh or cry about last night’s game. Playing even with the worst team in the league is disappointing. But winning a games when you two star forwards (McD and LD) might have been your worst players is a bonus.

    • Rock11

      Completely disagree on the Oil’s forward prospects. JP and Kailer obviously. Benson finally looks healthy and is lighting up the dub. Safin and Maxsimov are scoring well out east. Are any of these guys plug and play? Not sure but there is definitely some young skill on the way. Problem is that replacing Maroon with an ELC guy might not actually save us any cap dollars(once Bonuses are factored in) as Maroon’s hit was so low. Barring a significant cap rise a trade still may be required even if Maroon walks.

  • TKB2677

    For me signing or not signing Maroon has nothing to do with the cap. With the league getting faster almost by the day, I don’t think you as a team can have Maroon and Lucic on your team in your top 6. (cue the tired rant about Lucic and his contract from Henderson). I am of the belief that guys like Lucic and Maroon still have value on a team. You still need guys to stand in front of the net, you still need guys to go in the corners to win puck battles, you still need guys that can battle in front of the goal to create space and you still need guys who occasionally hit someone in your top 6. So Lucic will have value on this team for several more years easily. I also think player for player, Lucic is more likely to continue to score at his pace longer than Maroon and Lucic has shown he can score his usual numbers playing primarily without McDavid while Maroon has pretty much scored ALL his points with McDavid. So if the day comes that you find a better option than Maroon on McDavid’s wing, I don’t see Maroon scoring much on other lines. So in my opinion, even though you I like Maroon a lot, its him or Lucic on the team strictly because you can’t have 2 bigger slower guys in your top 6.

    Plus I think Henderson is dreaming if Maroon takes anything less than 4.5 mill. If he puts up another 20 goals, he will easily get way more than 4. That’s too much to be paying him on the Oilers.

    • IRONman

      Have a Logical Look. Cap space is 14-15 million. Some team like Rangers will offer Maroon 5 million. We can not do 5 million. Must sign Nurse 4 million and Benning at what 2 to 3 million? Not to mention the forwards. Cap crunch. 21 mil in two players. Sad

        • TKB2677

          Unless Maroon does what Henderson says and takes a 2-3 yr 3 mill deal basically forcing you to sign him, you walk. Like you said, some team will offer him money. Plus I think Nuge has played himself back on this team. So you have to find away to keep Nuge and part of that is to let Maroon walk. I think the keep Nuge easily if the cap goes up like apparently it will.

        • MrBung

          Chia needs to be smart with whatever extra cap “slack” that comes. Especially since he has locked in a bunch of really big deals (some suspect and some not yielding as good value as comparables across the league) and I suspect he is anticipating the cap increasing. If this team is going to be successful, he needs to make more value deals and find and develop players in system.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    We need to be realistic here. Maroon’s as good as gone. It’s extremely rare for a player to wave away a chance at testing the free agent market on July 1 and, let’s face it, he’d sign quickly that day (it’s my belief he’ll sign in St. Louis). I also believe that whatever deal he gets will be well north of $3.5-million-per. My guess is he’ll get around $5M, but what do I know?

    The only thing I really know is that we’ve been down this road before with many, many players. We always say “Gee, it’d sure be nice if (INSERT GM’S NAME HERE) could get this guy signed before July 1st,” and the trade deadline comes and goes and the player’s still here … and then he’s gone one minute into Free Agent Frenzy Day on July 1.

    I understand that Chia has to try to re-sign him. And I’m sure he is. But reality will set in, hopefully soon. Maroon’s got to be traded, before or at the deadline.

  • vetinari

    Fayne drops off our payroll in 2018 and so does one of previous buyouts, Korpikoski. That brings back $3.5M to $4.5M to use on resignings. I would pitch Big Rig a 4 or 5 year deal at around $4M to $4.5M per season to see if he bites… only firm requirement is no NMC… hate those except for elite players and veterans.

    • ed from edmonton

      Looking at next years potential roster and figuring in raises for Nurse for sure and Benning to a lesser degree, assuming the like of Caggulia, Sleppy get at most modest if any raises, I get a cap of something North of 80M (including say 4M for Maroon). Cap will likely go up but likely not enough to exclude the requirement for the Oil to dump somebody.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I love Maroon, and as much as I’d like to see him play in his home town so he can be with the Little Rig full time, I’d prefer to trade him to the eastern conference for a younger, cheaper option to play on McDavid’s wing. Start the pump and dump cycle like Pitt does with Sid.

    The NHL is a business afterall, and St Louis adding Maroon and getting even bigger/better would be bad for the Oilers.

  • Ginbaby

    His best season is behind him and as much as I would love to pay Maroon 3.5 and have Lucic not signed we can’t change the pass. His defensive zone play is not strong and his offensive skill will continue to erode. I don’t see St. Louis paying a premium especially with ” an incompetent GM”. Team needs skill and speed. Move out Caguila as he doesn’t seem to be more than a bottom six and try to squire a burner who can kill penalties and play in the top 9 effectively.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I think Todd’s gotta give Drake an extended look on McDavid’s wing before Chia does anything drastic. It seems like every time they play together, they produce.

  • I wonder how James Neal would look on Connor’s wing. I’m guessing that the Golden Knights are asking an arm and a leg. And they’ll probably get it. The Oilers will probably be sellers rather than buyers this year so that probably won’t happen. Whichever contender can add James Neal before the trade deadline will be hard to beat.

  • I don’t understand the argument here. If the oilers are in a playoff spot come trade deadline day, why would they trade him for prospects, or a rental, which he would essentially be at that point. Are they supposed to trade him to a conference rival for a scoring winger on an expiring contract? It’s just a stupid argument.

  • Spoils

    Let’s discuss the return. Right now Maroon (precontract) is exactly what we are looking for. I say we begin the pitch to Maroon and future players that they should sign team friendly contracts with the oilers, because connor… Or maybe we need to trade maroon for a pre-contract version of maroon.

    To me we have to wait until the playoff picture crystallizes

    • Rock11

      Problem with that for the player is that playing with Connor is just a means to pump your numbers and get a big contract. Once you have already done that then what is the point of staying at a reduced rate. We all wish it was to win but we know that money rules all when it comes to NHL free agency. The Oilers will need to find the next Maroon. A guy with finishing skill, and hopefully speed, that is underperforming and will sign a short term low money deal to increase his value on the open market. Rinse, repeat.

  • Clayton

    Chia needs to figure out how much it would take to resign Maroon and either get it done or get him ready to be traded by the deadline. By getting him ready to be traded I mean play him with Connor so his point total is inflated and he holds more trade value. I know the Oil are not that far out of a playoff spot and Maroon would be a nice playoff piece, but realistically does this team have what it will take to knock off the Blues and Preds? The issue that the bad start has created is that if the Oil do make the playoffs their seeding will have them in for 3 tough rounds before they make it to the cup final.

    As for Maroon…I think he can be bought for a discount to stay with the Oilers. BUT…with the anticipated cap rise and teams looking for big scoring wingers that discount price is still likely going to be too high for the Oilers. I know people would love to lock him in for 3-3.5 but I think Maroon is looking for 6…and will likely settle at over 5.

  • Winterkush

    Because using McDavid to pump up Leon really worked out for the Oilers.
    Maroon is worthless to any other team. No team will sign Maroon for over $3million/year.
    Maroon isn’t a top 6 forward.
    He is worth at the most a 3rd round pick.
    Maroon is on the decline.

    • MessyEH!

      You underestimate the value of power forwards in the playoffs.

      I would move letestu as well. I like both players. But our prospects are pretty thin. Trade the picks for other teams rfas or players with term and value. Or draft more skilked forwards that may pan out. We need to start developing guys who can contribute at value.

  • Petrolero

    If Strome manages a 15 goal, 40 point season, I would keep him for 2 or 3 years at the same price and show Letestu the door. If not, I’d send both away. Benning might end up going too. The Oilers are going to need a decent RW and it won’t come at less than 4 mill.

  • Rock11

    Slightly off topic but I believe the first move Chiarelli must make is to ship out Pakarinen. Some times a coach needs to be saved from himself and Tmac has an obvious blindspot for Iiro. Coaches are by nature risk averse and Tmac knows that if he puts Pak out that there is little chance of disaster. There is also little chance of reward. So instead of playing JP or JJ who might actually produce some offense(while assuming some risk on D), Pak gets sent out there most nights. In the meantime a big, fast, skilled former #4 pick rots away in the pressbox gaining no experience and having his confidence eroded. The GM may have to step in. In this case not by telling the coach who “has” to be in the lineup but by removing the coaches options.

  • OilersBro

    I’d only trade Maroon at the deadline if the Oilers are over 7 points out of a playoff spot. Get rental value for him from a contending team like St. Louis (his home town). Then get a pick in a deep draft.

    That being said, I hope he stays. He’s just started playing his best hockey here.

  • Oil9744

    I like Big Rig just as much as the next guy but he’s gonna wanna get paid, he’s never made big money his whole career and this is probably gonna be his only big pay day of his career, if he wants anything more then 4 mill I think they got to let him walk, but if he does gotta go and we gotta trade him before UFA I think there might be some trades that could work, The Flyers have lost 9 straight and are going no where really fast, I’m guessing they are gonna wanna start rebuilding soon and are gonna want picks and prospects, If we could get Wayne Simmonds I think it’s a good match for both teams, Pat Maroon ( replace Simmonds at PF for the rest of the year) 2nd rounder (hoping it wouldn’t take a 1st) and a good prospect maybe Bear or Jones, Simmonds still has a real good contract for 2 more seasons at 3.79 mill so that’s really good for the Oilers big contracts, Simmonds is a top 6 winger with a right shot and had the wheels and grit to play with Connor or Leon.