“The Blues have reached out to Pat Maroon about bringing him home.”
Biscuits and gravy to my ears right there. Just do me a favor and don’t think about it too much. Maroon won’t come home and save the St. Louis Blues, but he can help them in a time of need and transition.
At the very least, a lesser snoozefest on the ice. It wasn’t a hot atmosphere for the Blues at the NHL Draft. They collected a bunch of kids, aka prospects, but also found out some harsh truths from around the league. John Tavares basically said no, and Artemi Panarin did the same. Each player rolled their eyes when thinking about playing under the Arch long term.
I don’t think the Oakville product would turn down a chance to play for his hometown team. I don’t think he would request a deal to San Jose, where they are building a super team that will be unstoppable for the foreseeable future. Pat would like to play at Enterprise Center in blue, gold, and white. The Big Rig can fit his ego and ability between the Arch’s spikes.
He wouldn’t make the Blues a Stanley Cup contender with the touch of his skate on the ice, but he would give them something that was sorely missing last year: toughness and net front presence. The New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers brought out some good parts in Maroon, but maybe there’s something more to be utilized. The Blues could plant Maroon in front of the net and let him scoop up rebounds and bash in dirty goals.
Maroon also likes to smack other players around, and that would be nice. With no offense to Chris Thorburn, the Blues had ZERO protection on the ice last year. With the departure of David Backes and Ryan Reaves, there were no big bodies. Patrik Berglund was the big body technically, but giant soft pillows on skates don’t equal hits and authority. Maroon would change that. He registered 189 and 150 hits the last two years. He has no problem throwing his weight around, dropping the gloves, and protecting his teammates.
Let’s see how many times Vladimir Tarasenko gets run with Maroon on the bench, lurking like a giant lion waiting to destroy tiny hockey players fucking with his golden ticket. There’s a value placed on tenacity in the NHL. Maroon gives you that and then some. I know, it’s still not enough.
He can score a little as well. He put up 27 goals in the 2016-17 season and 14 between Edmonton and New Jersey last season. There are people who say he can’t put up points without Connor McDavid, but they will blindly deny or ignore the 13 points Maroon tallied with the Devils in just 17 games earlier this season. He’s good for 15 goals and 40 points, especially if he is paired with some talent. He isn’t the star, but a fine supporting player.
Unlike Tavares and Panarin, he won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. He has made right around $2 million the past two seasons with a cap hit of just $1.5 million. You could throw him a three year/$6 million dollar contract, which would look extremely tasty if you found a way to cut Vladimir Sobotka or Berglund loose in a deal.
Look, Maroon can help this team in certain areas that were lacking last season, and more than anything, he can make the Blues more fun to watch. If the team is going to rebuild with younger talent, you can scratch the playoffs off the docket for 2-3 years-or at least the kind of entry that season ticket holders can count on. Instead of watching a bunch of young pups run around, you can see them AND Maroon out there kicking some ass. He wouldn’t hamper your payroll, but could drive up attendance and create some excitement.
You bring him here and those jerseys will sell out immediately. The Blues would be more watchable with Maroon in uniform.
Yes, he will be healthy. Maroon had surgery for a herniated disc in May that more than likely torpedoed his playoff performance, but is expected to be ready for training camp.
Save me the hometown torment speech. Please avoid mentioning David Freese in this discussion. The Cardinal hero suffered from depression and other addictions before he cranked a couple of huge home runs for the Birds, so it’s not all a hard time. Maroon could build a home in St. Louis with his family and suit up as a Blue every night. Let’s ask him before we jump to conclusions about his desire to be here.
Remember a video where Maroon-after playing against the Blues in St. Louis and scoring a goal-tearfully admitted missing his family and having the chance to play in front of them? Yeah, he’d sign a contract fairly quick to come home.
Maroon wouldn’t take the Blues to the promised land, but he’d make them more fun to watch and score a few goals while pushing opponents around. The Blues family would accept this guy like a knight returning home. It would be a fun time.
You can tell me all you want about Berglund scoring more power play points (for nearly double the salary) or how Maroon isn’t fast enough (oh boy, just bring back Magnus), but I’m going to die on the hill that claims he’d help the franchise and the city get a little bounce back in their step.
Make it happen, Doug. It’s almost too easy.