Is there a reunion between the Edmonton Oilers and Pat Maroon on the horizon? Despite how slow things went on Canada Day, there are most certainly some signs pointing in that direction.
First and foremost, it is important to note how we got to where we currently are, and what precisely Ken Holland needs in order to shore up his squad. Up to this point, the Oilers have brought on Markus Granlund, Joakim Nygard and Gaetan Haas – three forwards who bring something unique to the table.
Granlund, obviously, is the only one of the trio with legitimate NHL credentials, but that does not take anything away from Nygard’s and Haas’ European experience. Plus, the latter two came at a discount, which is always appreciated for teams trying to juggle the desire to fill problem areas with realistic salary cap limitations.
Frankly, it is no secret that this team does not have a lot in the way to work with in terms of salary cap and money spending goes, which is all the more reason for them to look for a productive player they can get at a bargain price.
Beyond that, Edmonton also boasts the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. That pair, coupled with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes for a solid group, but the latter forward doesn’t have anyone to play alongside him.
So what are the options there? Well, Oilers missed the boat on Gustav Nyquist, Brett Connolly and Wayne Simmonds, so that means realistically, besides Michael Ferland, they do not have much in the way of choices there. And from everything we had seen thus far, Edmonton is not particularly high on Ferland.
If the Oilers genuinely want someone who is a 20-goal scorer in the third line center, Maroon might be exactly what the doctor ordered. And according to Mark Spector, that is an option that Edmonton is currently exploring.
Don’t forget, as recently as 2017 Maroon 27 goals when he was playing to the left of Connor McDavid. Imagine a little reunion between Maoon and McDavid next year – how does that sound?
Plus, playing compatibility and whatnot aside, Maroon would be a cheap option. Last year he agreed to a deal worth $1.75 million with the St. Louis Blues. For his troubles he earned a Stanley Cup, but it came at the expense of some personal production. He scored only 10 goals and 28 points – a far cry from the 27 and 17 he scored in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Now that Maroon has quenched his thirst for a championship, one has to wonder if maybe he wants to get back to being a more focal player for a team like Edmonton. Realistically, even if the rest of the team does not change much between now and the start of the upcoming season, there is a clear path to scoring 20+ goals for Maroon as an Oiler. He fits extremely well with the existing players and would likely fall back into his old habits.
Mind you, Maroon is not just valuable due to his scoring prowess. It is easy to forget, but he was also consistently 50 percent-plus in puck battles throughout both his time in Edmonton and during his general NHL tenure.
If we are to assume that last year’s deflated numbers will somehow take his stock down in the eyes of other teams around the NHL, then maybe the Oilers, with their personal history, are the perfect squad to recognize that he still has a ton left in the tank.
Will this reunion ultimately to fruition? Well, time will tell. But it is certainly a bet that can pay off well for all involved, the Oilers, Maroon and Edmonton fans all over the world.