Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Year in Review: Are the Oilers going to miss Patrick Maroon more than they anticipate?

This is one part of a player-by-player Year in Review series we’ll be doing over the next couple months as we look back on the 2017-18 Edmonton Oilers season. 

2017-18 Edmonton Oilers No. 19: Patrick Maroon

GP: 57, G: 14, A: 16, PTS: 30

Traded to the New Jersey Devils for JD Dudek and a 2019 third-round pick

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I don’t think Patrick Maroon ever got the credit he deserved in Edmonton. Don’t get me wrong, he was certainly endeared by the fanbase as a favourite for a variety of reasons — his underdog, late-bloomer storyline, his laid-back personality, and his big, physical, workmanlike play on the ice — but the narrative surrounding Maroon was that he was simply a byproduct of Connor McDavid.

Peter Chiarelli acquired Maroon back at the 2016 trade deadline in exchange for a nothing prospect in Martin Gernat and a fourth-round pick. Though it wasn’t really thought of at the time, after the Oilers signed Milan Lucic in free agency that summer, it became somewhat inevitable that the team wasn’t going to be able to keep Maroon around long-term.

After a solid season in which he posted 14 goals and 30 points in 54 games, Maroon was traded to the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline in exchange for middling prospect JD Dudek and a third-round pick that the Oilers later flipped to the Philadelphia Flyers for Cooper Marody. It certainly wasn’t an exciting return for a high-quality winger, but it was better than letting Maroon go for nothing at the end of the season.

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He was acquired back in 2016 as a nice, buy-low depth player, but after his breakout season alongside Connor McDavid, it became difficult to envision the Oilers fitting him into their increasingly-tight cap picture. While the Oilers paid Lucic handsomely to be their big, top-six winger who drove offence, it was actually Maroon who became that player.

Looking up and down Edmonton’s roster last season, Maroon was the team’s best offence driver not named Connor McDavid. He was a player who, when put with somebody, helped make them better at producing offence than they were otherwise. For all the talk about how McDavid made Maroon, the numbers indicate that Maroon was perfectly capable of driving offence in virtually any situation with any centre he was put out with.

Of course, Maroon did get a massive boost playing with McDavid. Everyone does. But the idea that Maroon was some scrub who just showed up and put his stick on the ice in front of the net while McDavid danced around and did everything isn’t accurate. Maroon, during his time with the Oilers, was one of the team’s better drivers of offence on his own merit.

In 2017-18, there was one player who had a positive goals for differential at even strength playing without McDavid. That was Patrick Maroon. When together, McDavid and Maroon put up a respectable 52.0 Goals For percentage, meaning they scored 52 percent of the total goals while on the ice. Maroon, when on the ice with anyone other than McDavid, had a 53.8 GF%. Everyone else on the roster other than Maroon was worse without McDavid than they were with him.

Beyond that, Maroon also made other players on the Oilers better. When Maroon was with Leon Draisaitl, the two had a 61.1 GF%. When Draisaitl was with anyone else, he had a 54.5 GF%. Maroon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a 50.0 GF% together, RNH had a 48.3 GF% without Maroon. Ryan Strome and Maroon had a 71.4 GF% together, Strome had a 47.62 GF% without Maroon.

I think Maroon’s departure leaves a bigger hole on the roster than most anticipate. While a big concern seems to be finding the ideal winger to play with McDavid, Maroon has been one of the few wingers on the team who could successfully play without McDavid. Not having Maroon on the roster isn’t something that’s going to sink Edmonton’s season by any stretch. Still, the team badly needs a young winger like Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto to take a step forward and drive play without McDavid on the ice in order to fill Maroon’s larger-than-appreciated shoes.

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  • BrandieBear

    I really enjoyed this article and I think the team would be better with Maroon. I think one of the underrated things that didn’t get mention was Maroon’s ability to be physical. When he was on the ice with McDavid he was protecting him as well as scoring. He was a big guy who watched out for his team mates and was not afraid to stand up for them or punch faces. JJ started to do that at the end of the year but having Maroon with McDavid protected him better. It reminds me of Gretzky and Semenko but with better hands

  • FISTO Siltanen

    Anyone else listen to Stauffer yesterday particularly the Matt Hendrickson interview?

    Stauffer said after that “say the Oilers had a LW signed to a long term contract and another playing a contract year. There might be some tension there. Matt Hendrickson could help that situation out”.

    Was there team strife with Lucic and Maroon last year?

  • Maroon’s agent priced him out of this market place. He missed his window, fired his agent, hired a new agent and signed a show me deal in St. Louis.

    Marroon was in Edmonton right around July 1. That was not a coincidence.

    • Gravis82

      I stopped following this team when Hall was traded. Not really because he was my most favorite player of all time..but because it was the most unwise trade of the last 10 years, top 3 of the last 20.

      It’s when I knew we would not win a cup. There will be no parade with McDavid. Maybe we get one or get to the finals, but the potential was there for multiple in the next 10 with the right GM. But not with this management group as it stands.

      So I moved on, I comment here, and watch some games. But mostly just live life without all the Oiler swag, Oiler talk every day and running my life around each game.

      Its been great. I encourage everyone to try it.

      McDavid is great and all, and the fans deserve to watch him after the decade of darkness, but management is not good enough.

      And just to be clear, between 1995 and 2016 I don’t think I missed more than 20 games.

      • What exactly did this article have to do with any of what you said? Literally nobody here asked for you edgy takes. Might surprise you but some of us are here because we actually enjoy watching and supporting our team win or lose. That playoff run was the most fun the city has had in over a decade, maybe we win a cup maybe we don’t but that’s the entire point of watching. It’s just a game at the end of the day, have fun watching and enjoying it. Keep doing what you’re doing though and I will too.

        • Gravis82

          It wasn’t a run. Won 1 round. If you want management to get you a cup, be upset they didn’t do more that year when everything was breaking right.

          The fact chia still has a job is unbelievable.

          Case in point, giving maroons money to a backup goalie who’s never played on the nhl lol.

          I must be living in another reality here. Has there been a worse gm than ours over the past three years? I don’t think so. The best player with the worse gm won’t even get you in the playoffs. Didn’t last year, and next year won’t be any better, have you seen the lineup?

          And yet not a single blog or media guy is pushing for a firing.


    • Arfguy

      Tend to agree. If we could have Maroon and not Lucic, that would be ideal. However, we do not need both Lucic and Maroon.

      Right now, I am happy we got the likes of Rieder and Brodziak. I think we should be good to go. I am hoping that Lucic gets his act together and returns to being a 15-20 goal scorer again. I do agree he had a bad season last year and I will not be expecting him to become a better player than his career average. I think Rieder will be a good addition, and despite the flak he gets, I do think Caggiula will be better.

  • Daryl Katz

    that was the ongoing problem here was that we couldn’t have had both Maroon and Lucic on the wing because they are both too slow. if we could have dumped Lucic by now we could have re-signed Maroon longer term and for a much cheaper price. Maroon isn’t the fastest player but he’s not near as slow as Looch is.

  • daryl

    Maroon was great for us when we had him but Lucic was his end even if he was as good if not better but Peter gave Lucic a too long deal with too much money a gamble that has yet to pay off.

    • IRONman

      1.75 is cheap. Oilers should have done 2 million x 3 years. He is solid 6’3 and brings heart. The fact he came back to go mini golf with a young fan shows tons. F u PC, idiot

  • Bills Bills

    Okay but McDavids numbers were actually better without Maroon. I don’t see Maroon as a driver at all but rather he is the definition of a complimentary player. He is smart and capable. But he is not a driver. His goals were not scored off the rush. They were not the result of huge individual efforts and he wasn’t racking up assists from making big plays.

    Your evaluation in my opinion is wrong. Having said that, teams need complimentary players and yes the Oilers will miss him almost as much as the fans.

  • oilredemption

    I believe the oil were in on maroon but couldn’t make a deal for lucic work. Can’t have both at long term. Also the initial deal to new jersey for maroon was a total bust but I loved that they flipped the 3rd for Maroody. Dudek will never play in the NHL. He’ll be lucky to have a AHL career.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Will the oil miss thim because he can pot some goals, hit and fight sure, Are they going to miss him losing puck battles along the boards,weak on the back check losing the man in front and the Oil getting scored on. No

    There was things I loved about Maroons game and things I hated, but what I disliked more was the Oil coaches not working with him on his weak point of his game, this not only goes for Maroon but other players as well. One of teh weak things I think about the Oilers is their coaching staff doesnt seem to no how to work with the players or use their players to their strengths and help them with their weakness and getting them thru that and if they cant get them through it use them smartly.

    There seems to be a long list of players the Oilers couldnt seem to get out of their weakness in the game, but yet these same players went to other organisation and far exceeded their play than when they with the Oilers.

    Maroon will do well in St Louis and I wish the big rig well, I just with the Oilers coaching staff would work a little better with the players. we will see how things turn out with the new assistants or if TM is still going to have the “it’s my way routine”

  • OffTheNever

    Last year the Oilers seemed more focus on getting Lucic goals than winning hockey games. I wonder how his team will revolve around Lucic next season when he can’t score?
    Which D will Oilers lose in the Expansion Draft? Nurse, Klefbom or Larsson.

    • Bills Bills

      Of course I mean Lucic did only get 50 points, 23 goals and 27 assists in his first year in Edmonton playing on the second line and PP while intimidating every player on the opposing team.
      Last year he was pacing ahead of those totals until Christmas and then something else happened. He didn’t suddenly forget how to play hockey or just become out of shape and slow.

      He has to get his head on straight and play like he can. BTW, Lucic doesn’t fight more because he doesn’t have to. Most opposing players have zero desire to fight with him.

  • Bond

    Of course we will miss him more than management realizes. He was a solid functional nhl’er that could scrap score and skate, not like the wind, but he got it done. I hope he get’s 30 goals in St Louis just to show Chirelli how much fkcd up this situation.

    • OriginalPouzar

      How did Chiarelli eff up the situation? He made a fantastic trade for the player (even if AHA wasn’t retaining 1/4 of the contract) and after a few good usefull years of the assets, in a season where we were missing the playoffs, he sold the pending UFA for what looks like a great return – one of our top prospects that might be very close to NHL ready.

      Maroon was willing to take a huge hometown discount to sign in STL.

      • Daryl Katz

        because Chia doesn’t know what he’s doing and had a chance to really have a powerhouse here by now with the players he was left with but chose to purge himself of some of our good players for lesser players in order to put his own stamp on things and screw it all up !!