Patrick Maroon sat down on the Absolutely Unsure Podcast last week to discuss all things hockey and life. Even though Maroon doesn’t play for the Oilers, he still has a place close to my heart. A ton of the interview was Oilers related so I’m here to fill you all in!
Kudos to Patrick Maroon. I’ve always loved seeing that beautiful mug on my TV, in between periods when he was getting interviewed by Sportsnet, and this was two hours of that. Since it was such a long interview, there are a lot of topics I left out because I didn’t have time to cover it all, and you should definitely give it a listen if you have the time. Below are some Q&A’s that include Oiler talk, and ones that I thought were the most interesting. Give the full podcast a listen if you’re up for it. It’s definitely worth it.
To give a little background on the episode, the hosts, Tyler & Louie, are actually Pat Maroon’s buddies that he grew up with so the whole interview has a ‘friends in a bar’ vibe. Louie is also Patty’s future brother-in-law so you knew he would have stories. With that said, while taste-testing a sponsored whiskey throughout the episode, the conversation gets pretty candid and Patty doesn’t hold a lot back on anything he was asked. He may even go into some under the radar team stuff that you guys might be interested in. Check it out!
Maroon’s climb to the NHL
Did you know Patrick Maroon was a roller-hockey champion? He actually led the US men’s national inline team to a gold medal in the 2010 IIHF World Championships. Apparently, inline skating is huge in St. Louis. As someone who just recently took up bladin’, this is exciting stuff for me.
I was legit, just a total rink rat. I was a chubby kid, so Saturday nights I was skating and working. I really just worked on my hands, and the vision and hockey sense came natural to me.
I know Maroon played for us for two full seasons but I actually had no idea that he led the AHL in points in 2011. At the beginning of the episode, Maroon talks about his success in the AHL but trouble securing a spot on an NHL roster. He was seeing some pretty good success, but the Ducks refused to call him up. Frustrated, Maroon asked his agent what he has to do to get to the next level.
You just gotta fight.
And so he did. The man they called ‘fat Pat’ pivoted to an enforcer, and began fighting as much as humanly possible. You can tell by how he would break 100 PIM’s in consecutive season. As expected, Maroon’s fighting abilities is what caught the eye of Ducks management, and in 2012 he finally got called up to stay.
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In the next few years, Maroon played up and down the lineup on both Anaheim and Edmonton. Sometimes he was on the top line, sometimes he was on the fourth line, and sometimes he was a healthy scratch.
You never know in the NHL, you never know if you’re secure or not. It wasn’t until I was matched up against Getzlaf and Perry for every game in the [2017 Western Conference semi-finals]. That’s when I really felt like I made it.
Maroon on fighting
Even though Maroon got a crack at the NHL due to his fighting ability, it doesn’t sound like he’s a big fan of it, and he doesn’t like to consider himself as an enforcer.
It’s scary to me. I tip my hat to those guys, they have the hardest jobs in the league.
The boys talked a considerable amount of time on the game where Maroon fought Big Z. Maroon credits Chara as being the toughest guy in the league. Did you know Zdeno did 32 pull-ups at training camp? Can you imagine watching a near 7-foot man crushing 32 pull-ups with ease? The man is a monster.
I go hit him and he’s like “Maroon you want to fight?” – I look up at this guy and I’m thinking, oh god, there’s no way. I say “Big Z I can’t.” and he says, “Maroon let’s go. Give me one, give me one, I’ll be nice”. So I drop my gloves and he hit me twice in the head and I really thought I was knocked out, it hurt so bad. When we get to the penalty box Chara says “Maroon you ok? Thanks for the fight.” I laugh and say, I’m not okay, are you okay? I’m thinking to myself, NHL protocol should call me into the room, I think they need to check my head out.
Maroon went on to talk about how big and strong Chara actually is compared to the rest of the league, and that he could really hurt you if he wanted to.
I play with Looch. and Looch is probably the strongest man I’ve met in my entire life. He’s ripped. He’s lean. He’s mean…. and Chara’s just in another world.
Maroon on getting chirped
One of my favourite videos to watch on the Internet are mic’d up NHL players. I love hearing what’s happening on the ice and in between whistles. Luckily for me, Maroon talks a bunch of the many times he gets chirped on the ice. A couple of my favourites:
- In one of his first NHL games, he’s lining up for the faceoff alongside Dany Heatley. Back then Reebok wasn’t really common in the NHL, but they supplied a lot of gear for the AHL. In his first few games, Maroon still had all of his old RBK gear and Heatley called him out on it. “Hey bud, you know you’re in the NHL, right?”
- Maroon explains that players calling him fat, or telling him to go eat another donut is pretty common. He specifically called out Michael McCarron from the Habs who continues to chirp Patty and calling him fat, but always refuses to fight him.
- Apparently, a lot of the NHL knows Patty is a roller hockey champion. In the 2015 Western Conference Finals against Chicago, Patrick Kane asked him if he needs to be getting ready for his roller hockey championship… referring to his roller hockey days. GET IT? GET IT? Sorry, Patty’s just talented at many different things and he’s a busy guy, Kane!
Maroon on getting traded to Edmonton
In my opinion, there are so many pros and cons from being traded from the Ducks to the Oilers if you’re Patrick Maroon. Patty pretty much listed all of them during the podcast.
I was pretty nervous [when I got traded] cause I went from the best team in the Pacific Division to the worst.
Maroon came into the city with a good mindset and was very happy. Of course he was nervous coming into a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in nine years. But on the HUGE plus side, Patty came into a team that had a brand new arena, and Connor McDavid. Maroon would immediately get put with Connor on the top line, so who cares how much the team sucked before that? Patrick Maroon was thriving!
The boys also joked about how Patrick Maroon scored the first goal ever in Rogers Place. Of course it was a deflection off the hip, but still counts!
Maybe I’ll get a standing ovation if I ever retire and go back there.
– Maroon joked.
Maroon on his dirty hit on Doughty
Just this past January, Maroon entered the corner and accidentally hit Drew Doughty up high in the head. Maroon got a 5-minute Match penalty, a two-game suspension, and had to fight Derek Forbort.
This hit caused some serious online commotion and eventually lead Maroon’s fiance to post the following message on Twitter:
— Francesca Vangel (@FrancescaAnna) January 4, 2018
I remember reading this tweet and thinking, what the hell is wrong with some people? Well, six months later and we FINALLY hear Pat Maroon’s side of the story!
I was getting death threats on Twitter, she was too. Someone messaged us and said ‘I hope you die’. People thing ‘oh they’re athletes and they can deal with it’ but it really is sensitive [for us]. What if I did that to you every day at your job? They act like these athletes don’t read it. Francesca just got sick of it and was sticking up for me. I can’t voice my opinion so she voiced hers. As an athlete, you can’t voice your opinion any more. If i went on Twitter and said Lebron James sucks, I would get blown up, I’d be called every name in the book.
I’m so glad Patty said this because he hit the nail on the head. Hockey culture doesn’t allow NHL players to speak their mind to the media. They get nasty DM’s and death threats on a daily basis and they can’t say anything about it. I’m happy Francesca did what she did because someone had to! Twitter has created a platform for bullies to hide anonymously, and it’s not fair that others have to suffer because of it.
Besides, it’s not like Maroon went head-hunting into the corner and tried to injure Doughty. He had his hands down and was trying to finish his check. As Maroon said, it was a hockey play gone wrong, and those things happen.
I didn’t mean to hit him dirty. I talked to Doughty after to apologize, and he was laughing about it.
“I know man, it’s part of the game.” – was Doughty’s response to Maroon.
This conversation led to a discussion on how challenging it is to hit somebody mid-ice in the NHL nowadays. Scott Stevens was an example of someone who could destroy guys back in the day. Of course, he would be considered a dirty player in today’s NHL as Maroon said in the interview, but he certainly had a skill back then.
Now they take the middle away and they try to push you to the outside. They call it the squeeze now. Adam Larsson is probably my favourite player to watch on them. He crushes guys. When you stick your hip out and squeeze them along the boards.
I knew it was a lot harder to hit guys centre ice but I never realized how good Adam Larsson is at the squeeze. Will definitely be keeping my eye out on this next season!
Maroon on Gene Principe
Gene principe is one of my favourite humans. Everyone in Edmonton treated us like we were gold. Fans, Gene, media..
This comes as no surprise to me. Gene is a god here in Edmonton and it’s nice to see that the players think so too. It’s also nice to hear Patty had so many good things to say about us here in Edmonton. There was a reason he had the second best selling jersey in 2017 in Edmonton next to Connor. We loved the guy! (and I still do)
Maroon on entering free agency
I’m really nervous. nervous and excited at the same time. Jersey has my heart, Edmonton has my heart. Obviously, Edmonton traded me so i don’t know if there’s a home for me there. I had my best career year there, I have a home there.. I just want to go to a place that will accept my role, and they want me there.
This is exhilarating and probably my favourite part of the podcast. After hearing Maroon’s voice, I feel like he really wants to come back to the Oilers. Obviously, he will be happy with anyone who wants to re-sign him, but it seems like he really enjoyed it here and would love to come back.
I want to win a Stanley Cup.. I’m nearing the end of my career, probably have 5 or 6 good years left.. winning would be a big thing for me.
Maroon on the Stanley Cup Final
Maroon had a good take on how Washington is the better team than Vegas. The Caps pounded the Penguins into the ground with their heavy hitting, body-rocking style of play. They got away from that in game one and Vegas took advantage with their puck movement and fast speed. As soon as Washington started hitting back, Vegas fell to their knees.
You can ask any defenceman in the NHL, the worst thing is going back to get the puck. Washington finally played their game and played physical against Vegas. Could you imagine Wilson coming down on you every shift and levelling you in the corner? It is not fun.
The series was 3-1 for Washington at the time of this interview, but we all know how it was going to end.
Even though he stopped scoring goals for us in this last year, my love for Patrick Maroon and his dog still stands. As much as I would love to see him return to Edmonton this summer, I don’t think it will happen. He has endless amounts of great things to say about our team and city, and I really hope the best for him. I hope he gets an appropriate contract this summer with a team he loves (St.Louis would be ideal), and I hope he finds success in his future NHL career.