Should Oilers Go for Patrick Maroon?

The Edmonton Oilers and Patrick Maroon are a familiar story. Maroon came to the Oilers from the Anaheim Ducks during the 2015-16 NHL season and was an absolute steal for the franchise. With only four goals in 56 games with the Ducks that season, Anaheim deemed him dispensible and not only moved him to Edmonton but agreed to pay a chunk of his salary to do so, meaning the Oilers got a big and skilled left-winger for pennies on the dollar. Maroon went on to post 8 goals and 14 points in 16 games with the Oilers to finish out that year and in 2016-17, potted 27 goals and 42 points in 82 games the following year. However, the Oilers struggled in 2017-18 and while Maroon’s 14 goals and 30 points in 57 games were nothing to sneeze at, he became a trade piece the deadline when the Oilers and Maroon couldn’t find a deal to re-sign the winger.

The question is now, would the Oilers want him back?

In our continued look at options for the Edmonton Oilers this season, we examine the idea of circling back to Patrick Maroon.

Related: Should Oilers Go for Justin Faulk?

Why Is Maroon Available?

Perhaps the New Jersey Devils look at re-signing Maroon but the reality is, as an unrestricted free agent, he’s going to test the waters and see if he can’t set himself up for a longer-term deal that will help secure his and his family’s future. That makes sense. He’s been relatively underpaid as an NHL’er and his production will warrant a hefty raise which he should try and take advantage of. He might be too costly for the Devils and he’s stated in many interviews that he’s definitely planning to revisit the idea of signing in Edmonton. The Oilers gave him his first real shot in the NHL to prove himself and he loved the organization, the fans, and the city.

Patrick Maroon, New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils left wing Patrick Maroon (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

If he chooses not to stay in New Jersey or go to St. Louis (another team rumored to be on his list of preferred destinations), the Oilers might want to see what he’d be willing to accept to come back and reunite with Connor McDavid. He’s also dealing with an offseason injury that may affect New Jersey’s desire to extend him.

How Would Maroon Help the Oilers?

Unlike some of our previous entries on who the Oilers should consider this offseason, Maroon is a familiar face with a history in the Oilers organization. For the most part, everyone knows what he brings. The question is, what is Edmonton willing to pay for it?

Maroon is a big, skilled forward who has a touch around the net and can help on the power play. He can score between 15-30 goals, (likely more around 20) and he knows how to play with Connor McDavid, which is not exactly the easiest thing for everyone to figure out. A first line of McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Patrick Maroon would be dangerous if they could get their chemistry in line and it’s not a tandem the Oilers have tried before. It could be enough to kick Maroon right back up to that 25-30 goal pace which would make him extremely valuable.

What Would a Deal Look Like?

The reason Maroon was traded was that of money. The return the Oilers got wasn’t strong enough to justify simply offloading him like they did and that means the Oilers and Maroon’s camp must have been pretty far apart when it came to the numbers on an extension. Realistically, Maroon should get a number starting with four in free agency. After all, free agency tends to favor the players, and talents like Maroon can get overpaid in the tornado that is 31 teams trying to improve their rosters. Anything more than $4 million per season is perhaps too rich for the Oilers who, if they’re going to spend that or more, want a guaranteed 20-25 goals in their lineup.

Patrick Maroon, Edmonton Oilers
Patrick Maroon has had an impact on both sides of the puck. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

That said, if Maroon can be convinced that the grass is greener in Edmonton and is willing to do a three-year deal for $3.5 million, he’ be worth another look. Edmonton knows what he offers, they know what he’s like as a player and how he fits into the culture of the team. They also know his season in 2017-18 wasn’t terrible but it was likely an anomaly where his future is likely brighter than 17 goals and 43 points.

One thing to consider is that Maroon would be eligible for a Seattle expansion draft. This could be a good or bad thing. If he signs in Edmonton, it’s only money and the team wouldn’t have given up an asset to acquire him. They can simply leave him unprotected if he doesn’t consistently provide 20-plus goals.