97
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.

ARTICLE BROUGHT TO YOU BY HOLE’S GREENHOUSES

Did you know that indoor plants can significantly improve your home’s indoor air quality as well as your productivity, focus, & mood?

We’ve made adding indoor plants to your home easy! Check-out our selection available for purchase online and use the promo code NATION for 30% OFF your indoor plant order. Visit: http://www.holesonline.com/indoor-plants

  • Hemmertime83

    Keep if it’s 4×4. Paying 5% of cap space for a player that works on your top line is good. And by the last year it’s likely 4 MIL of an 86 cap. Plus he’s good friends with 97. I would prefer 3-3.5 (duh) but he would be 5-6 years at that. Pay the slight premium for lower years. If we will pay our 5-6 d man 4X4 we can do Maroon

  • The Whispererer

    Those who are saying “buy out Lucic” evidently are not aware of how his contract is structured. A buyout this June would result in the following Cap hit over the ensuing 10 years…
    2018/19…$3,233,333 2019/20…$3,733,333 2020/21…$5,733,333.2021/22…$4,233,333 2022/23…$5,733,333 next 5 years $733,333/year.

    • KMA

      Still not convinced a buy-out is not a viable option given the owners wealth. For those who cannot stomach such a move Katz should at least have the balls to fire Pistol Pete for being a certified idiot.

      • Prairiechicken

        It has nothing to do with the owners wealth, and everything to do with tying up valuable cap space (several million) in a player not even on your team for several years. We’re not talking about 200k for a couple years here ….

      • The Whispererer

        The owner’s wealth has nothing to do with it. The issue is fitting within the cap. If you buy him out you still have to replace him with a 1st or 2nd line LW. If Maroon is worth $4 million, so is any effective top 6 winger (eg, Pacioretty $4.5) and fit his cap into your structure after you have reduced the upper Cap limit by the amount of the Lucic buyout.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Ask Lucic to waive his no trade clause. If he refuses, place him on waivers. Just maybe? Hopefully? Someone might claim him? If that doesn’t work buy him some tight yoga pants and get him skating lessons with David Pelletier, who’s on the Oilers payroll already.

    • crabman

      @ the whispererer where are you getting your numbers for the years 2020-23? Not sure if I am looking at the contract the same. His signing bonuses over the rest of his contract range from $3.5M next year and $2.5M 2021/22. to get a $5.73M year whouldn’t he need to be getting a $5M signing bonus? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I might be mistaken how it works. thanks

        • crabman

          @Whispererer, Thanks! Mind Blown! I didn’t even know Cap friendly had a buyout calculator. I was doing everything myself based off his signing bonuses from cap friendly and my wrong understanding on how the buyout would break down. I thought it was bad but didn’t realize how bad.

  • Jaxon

    Maroon & 3rd round pick to STL for one of their “Big Four” (Kyrou, Kostin, Thompson, Thomas) and one of their little-used roster forwards (Upshall, Thorburn, Brodziak, Jaskin) for cap space to make room for Maroon. He’s more than a rental for STL as there is a very high likelihood he’d re-sign with them, and possibly at a discount for a long-term contract.

  • 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.

  • Prairiechicken

    What they get seems to highly depend on market. Somehow we got a first rounder + Klink from Pittsburgh for Perron. He had 5 goals heading into the deadline.
    But plenty of other comparable a going for 2nd or 3rd rounders. So who knows.

    • IRONman

      Maroon will get 4 million per season. Lots of teams have cap space next year for him. No hard feelings, but he has to go, do the best for his family. Sign elsewhere for Big contract.

  • OilCan2

    PC is staring down a trade on Big Rig. I say let him go for a first round pick and then go for the best D man available. The future is fast in the NHL and youth will serve us better. If I learned anything watching the Oilers the last few seasons it’s that the Draft is the key. Sadly we have been focused on that far too soon most seasons. So if Maroon leaves we need guys like Yamamoto, Benson, Khiara & Puljujarvi to step in and perform better and better.

  • 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

  • deferoiler

    Knowing Chai hes probably gonna overpay 5mil x 4 years. Idk if the return is even worth it. You know everyone is pointing at McDavid as the reason Maroon has had so much sucsses. Is it worth to trade him for a 2nd rounder?

  • 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

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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)