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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Trade or Sign: Patrick Maroon

Peter Chiarelli’s trade to acquire Patrick Maroon is one of his best moves as Oilers general manager. Chiarelli saw an under-valued player and got Anaheim to retain salary. Maroon’s 82-game pace since coming to Edmonton is 27 goals and 46 points. And for only $1.5 million.

This decision would be easy if the Oilers were on route to the playoffs. Maroon would remain on the roster alongside Connor McDavid or Edmonton’s other talented centre and the Oilers would likely revisit a contract with Maroon in the offseason if his price comes down. Instead, the Oilers have to either trade or sign Maroon by the NHL trade deadline on February 26th. It’d be foolish to keep Maroon past then without a contract. But can the Oilers afford Maroon’s next deal?

Hockey Graphs’ Matt Cane has 2018 free agent predictions based on pro-rating a players current stats, an $80-million salary cap, and signing after the regular season ends. Cane’s predictions range from $3.8 million to over $5 million for Maroon’s next contract. Money Puck Systems has a calculator that forecasts what players are worth. They also estimate a $3.8/3.9-million cap hit on a three or four-year deal.

This is Maroon’s best shot at a giant contract. He’ll get three years, $3.5 million minimum, and probably more than that. Can the Oilers afford to have over $10 million combined to both Milan Lucic and Maroon? That’s a lot of heaviness on the left side, both of which will be over 30 by next season.

Mar 12, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon (19) during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Maroon’s made the most of his time with McDavid. Does he put up 20 goals and 40 points without the Oilers captain? Maroon’s a bargain at his current price, but how much is he worth when 60% of his 5-on-5 time is with McDavid? He’s performed admirably in that spot but extending him means you’re now paying full value.

The Oilers should be getting quicker. They already have one lumbering winger signed long term. With $60 million committed to 13 players next season, signing Maroon means a very similar team returning in 2018-19. The Oilers need to make changes to this group, one of the NHL’s worst group of wingers. Maroon’s been an excellent fit for very cheap, but the difference between his next contract and a higher-scoring option should direct Edmonton towards the latter.

Edmonton needs to replace Maroon if they don’t sign him. They already downgraded on the wing last summer with the Jordan Eberle trade. Replacing Maroon’s ~40 points alongside McDavid should be easier.

It’s hard to see a team with both Maroon and Lucic coexisting long term. Both are entering their thirties and neither play on the penalty kill. Oilers fans would probably choose Maroon over Lucic considering the difference in money, but Lucic’s contract isn’t going anywhere. Maroon’s time in Edmonton is coming to an end.

The Oilers can recoup some assets with Maroon at the deadline. A second-round draft pick should be a realistic return. Last season, Brian Boyle was traded to Toronto for a one of their 2017 second-round picks. Maroon’s a more productive player, but Boyle plays centre.

Verdict: Trade. Maroon will make a nice addition for a playoff contender. His contract is cheap, he can play with good players, and he has good numbers in the playoffs. Edmonton got good value out of Maroon, but paying him market value doesn’t make sense.

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  • Slipknot 8

    ‘’Replacing Maroon’s ~40 points alongside McDavid should be easier.‘’ since when is replacing goals (27) easy? You sound like the people who thought Hall & Eberle were the problem and trading them would actually make the Oilers better…

  • Rick Carriere

    As much as I like Maroon he has to go …30 years old soon only spells declining skill coming…they already have the big body when they need it in Lucic….Chearelli was retarded in dealing Ebs…although it would have been hard keeping both him and RNH…I do not know how they will fix this for next year…

  • Kneedroptalbot

    How Chiarelli handcuffed the franchise. NMC rules.
    A No-Move Clause (NMC) can be added to a player’s contract, Unrestricted Free Agency (7 Accrued seasons or 27 years of age), and has the following properties:
    Player cannot be traded without his consent (however, the clause can specify a modified no-trade clause that limits the NTC to a certain number of teams)
    Player cannot be placed on waivers without his consent
    Player cannot be assigned to the minors without his consent

    THANK YOU, PETER

  • OilersFan999

    We should should see if St. Louis wants maroon he would resign for sure because of his son and they might even give us a 1 or a second and another pick because they can get him back if he does well

  • The Whispererer

    St Louis has very little cap space this year, but is in better shape than the Oilers next year…16 players signed for ~$61.7 while the Oilers only have 13 signed for about the same amount.

  • The Whispererer

    Jaxon
    If we could get any of those 4 ( some preference for Kyrou ) for Maroon it would be awesome and better than having another 1st round pick that would be close to making the team next year. Kyrou turns 20 in May, Thompson is already a pro but hasn’t shown a lot of scoring touch so far…3g, 3a in 22 games in St. Louis.

    • Jaxon

      Yes, and I think I’d go as high as giving up a 2nd round pick with Maroon as long as St Louis let me have my choice of the ‘Big Four’. I think Kostin might be a bit on the slow side and Thompson isn’t bringing the production with him at this point. So for Kyrou or Thomas, I’d give up a high 2nd round pick. Maroon & 2nd Round pick for Kyrou (or Thomas), Jaskin (or Upshall, Brodziak or Thorburn)

  • The Whispererer

    Crabman
    I was out for a while, thus my delay in replying. My numbers are from the buyout calculator on capfriendly.com
    It could be that the actual cash payout each year is different from the Cap hit; possibly because Lucic will have been paid $16 of the $42 million in the 1st 2 years.

  • cityofchampions

    I like Maroon and would much rather keep him at $4MX4 than Lucic at $6M per year, but we can’t keep both. We have enough “bigness” and need to get more skilled wingers to play with McDavid. Do what you can to trade Lucic for anything (and why wouldn’t he agree to waive his NMC for a playoff contender), but if that ain’t happening you need to trade Maroon. The team as currently constructed isn’t working….you need to change it up and Maroon and Lucic are too similar in style to keep both around.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Funny, nobody mentions Kassian. He has cement hands, brings very little to this team in the scoring department. Doesn’t think the game well enough to be effective on the PK. He must just be a Big/Heavy player type that Pistol Pete craves.

  • Its.Not.Me.Its.You

    Trade him! He was usefull and well liked but there is nothing wrong with turning a forth round pick in to a 2nd rounder or a first (hockey gods willing) and not having to pay marroon 4 mill.