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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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  • KMA

    Buy-out Lucic now. It was a poor management decision to sign him in the first place. Bite the bullet and cut your losses sooner than later. The team will be better off in the short term and the long run.

    • kiaora

      How is the team stronger without a consistent 50/60 points each year, which Lucic always produces, on whatever line you put him on? Add in the physical element (which will be more important once we get into playoffs again), and experience, and he is almost worth what we are paying, definitely not a guy you buy out which is silly talk.

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      @KMA that is a horrible idea all I’ve herd is his contract is buyout proof. Not to mention when you buy someone out it’s 2/3 the remaining money owed spread out twice the remaining years left. A multi million dollar cap penalty fo 10 year Is just brutal.

    • crabman

      @KMA the Oilers can’t afford to buy out Lucic. When people call his contract buy out proof it’s because of his signing bonus which can’t be bought out. If bought out in the off season his cap hit over the next 5 years would be; 4.25M, 3.75M, 3.75M, 3.25M, $3.75, and then 5 more years of .75M( 2/3 of money owing not including signing bonuses over twice the remaining years. plus each years signing bonus) I would rather pay him $6M to play next year over $4.25M not to play and still need to replace him.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    SIGN HIM! SIGN. HIM. I HAVE LOVED BIG RIG SINCE HIS FIRST GAME AS AN OILER! He is NOT the problem this season ans he’s definitely a fan favourite.

  • dsanchez1973

    Maroon should be kept.

    Lucic is the one who needs to go, but Chiarelli’s obsession with giving out NMCs Oprah Style is a huge problem. The Oilers need to get a lot more cold blooded.

    Step 1: Ask Lucic to waive his NMC.
    Step 2: If he says no, Healthy scratch Lucic. Take away his parking pass. Tell him not to come to the rink. Refuse to let Ryan Rishaug talk to him on game day. Tell Mark Spector Lucic’s dad was a ballet dancer. Tell Remenda Lucic hates the Sharks.
    Step 3: wait until Lucic agrees to waive
    Step 4: get whatever you can
    Step 5: profit

  • toprightcorner

    Unless Chia can convince Bergevin that Lucic is who they need to make them bigger and tougher and yake back a poor contract.

    Lucic and Jones for Shaw.

    That saves you 2.1

    • toprightcorner

      Stupid phone…

      That save you $2.1 mill and gives you a good but over priced pest with speed and good defensively and PK.

      Then you can sign Maroon but not more than $3.4 mill because of McDavid factor. Kunitz never made over $3.5 with Crosby and he was more productive than Maroon.

  • nijames

    He is definitely a trade chip. If he is not playing with McDavid he is exactly what Anaheim gave up on, a slow big body that doesn’t fit the NHL mantra these days. Should be able to get a 3rd round pick or possible a 2nd round for him. To think the Oil could get a first rounder for him is really dreaming big.

    • Dan 1919

      Why is first rounder for a veteran 6’3, 20+ goal scorer, 30/40pt on an expiring contract so hard to believe. That is the best type of rental player to get for a playoff run. If the most they can get for him is a second rounder, given the Oilers drafting and existing lack of depth, I wouldn’t bother losing him for that little.

      • kiaora

        Because 1st round picks are gold – nobody gives them up now, I’m sure you wouldn’t have been happy if we had given up this years first round pick last year for the playoff run.

      • NoBuBlackOPS

        @Dan1919 I hope the oil get a first for maroon but that’s the best we could hope for. Most likely a second and a B class prospect. But you saying you would rather keep him instead of trading for anything less than a first is a bad move. Why let him walk away on July 1 for no return. I would rather bring back something than get nothing for an expiring UFA who has value. Nothing says we can’t make him a offer on July 1 if he makes to the UFA period. You also bring up the lack of depth and bad drafting how does losing maroon for nothing adress those issues.

        • Dan 1919

          When I say keep him or only trade him for a first rounder, that’s under the assumption he’s resigning here. But absolutely, if his camp has already said they’re going back to St. Louis or wherever, I’d trade him for literally anything, I assumed that went without saying…

    • toprightcorner

      Lars Eller got two 2nds at the deadline. Maroon should get you a 2nd and a 3rd but i would prefer a 19-21 year old prospect for RW or RD that is blocked from playing in NHL.

      PIT has RW Sprong, 20, AHL rookie 19 goals 32 games and PIT with cap issues could afford Maroon

      LAK have RW Zykov, 22, 220 lbs and good skater with 22 goals in 39 games 2nd year in AHL

      TAM has Stevens, right shot C/RW with 15 goals in 42 games as AHL rookie. Highend speed

      Oilers dont need a pick as they need AHL prospects with offensive potential now, not in 3 years.

  • 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…

    • toprightcorner

      The best chance to trade Lucic is this year. MON is a good option because they want more character and more size and toughness. Take a bad contract back like Shaw but he fills a need as a center who is quick, defensive, a pest, PK and some offense. Oilers throw in sweetner but i would make it a big trade for 2 teams who need to make a big change.

      Lucic, Jones and Strome for Pacioretty and Shaw. Then try tp resign Patch for $6.5-$7 if he clicks with McDavid as 40 goals is possible then.

      Want to go really big? Thriw Nuge and Gallager in the mix and Oilers also answer the RW issues, are a lot faster, have Drai at 2C and Shaw at 3C.

      That would give the Oilers perfect balance.

      Oh yeah, sign Maroon at $3.6 x 3

      • Rusty

        creative. i like it. only criticism i have is it seems like Chia and bergevin trade too much together. id like the oilers to look to some non traditional trade partners and see if there is something they could shake loose.

  • Dan 1919

    Reaves was traded for a 1st rounder. If there’s an actual market for Maroon, I can see the price being a 1st rounder. And it would almost need to be given how many trades Chiarelli’s lost. The Oilers still need a top 2 dman, and if that means using Maroon as chip somehow then they need to make that happen. That being said, if there’s no leverage to be gained besides cap space on losing Maroon, we all know how good this team will be next year with one less NHL player…(Chiarelli tried that experiment last year of just getting rid of guys and hoping magic would fill their absence).

    • kiaora

      Would you be happy if the Oilers gave up a first round pick for a playoff rental? I don’t think so, its nice to dream, but first round picks are worth more than Maroon for a few months.

      • Dan 1919

        You’re also assuming all first rounders are the same. Maroon wouldn’t get a top 3 pick, he would go to a playoff team. So for a team like St.Louis that’s drafting low anyway, do you honestly believe your first round pick is “gold”? There’s no guarantee that St.Louis’ late 1st round ever amounts to an NHL player, never mind a 6’3 20 goal scorer top six winger. Furthermore if the team Maroon gets traded to gets the nod that he’d resign there, he’s definitely worth a first rounder, it’s really not that complicated.
        I’m not saying he’ll definitely fetch a first rounder, I’m saying that would be my price to get rid of him. Unless the Oilers have another proven top 6 player in mind to replace him or set it up that he’s a trade chip to bring in a dman, they just can’t afford to let him go for a second round pick.

  • freelancer

    If he signs for less than 4 million a year than keep. Maroon is a great complimentary player that can be put in anywhere. Having said that cheaper complimentary players can be found and Chia’s bumbling has put this team in a position where they can’t afford Maroon at a higher price.

    • Christian Pagnani

      3 million x 3 years would be doable, but no way he does that.

      I’d rather see a higher-scoring winger alongside McDavid, rather than a 45-point one (if he plays with 97). If he’s not playing McDavid then that’s going to be a hard contract to live up to.

      Which is why I’d just move on and look elsewhere.

      • freelancer

        I would have all the time in the world if the Oilers targetted Hoffman in Ottawa. Having a down year so his value should be lower. Would be a 60 point player next to McDavid.

  • GK1980

    That’s fine trading him but who can be his replacement? Love the comment that the Oilers have one of the worst top 6 wingers in the lineup. They use to have hall and eberle…..yeah.

  • 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…