The St. Louis Blues had one of the best offseasons in the league when they managed to acquire Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, David Perron with in the first few days of the start of free agency. The fact they were able to add those players without mortgaging their future prospects, make their offseason that much more successful. However, when the team signed winger Patrick Maroon to a one-year, $1.75MM deal, the team really looked at their offseason as a roaring success.
Maroon, who opted to give up both money and term so he could sign with his home-town Blues, could easily have gotten both elsewhere. Maroon, who made $2MM last year, has scored 44 goals in the past two years, making the 6-foot-3 physical forward an excellent, inexpensive addition. However, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon writes don’t be surprised if Maroon gets an extension before the 2018-19 season ends. It’s likely the team will give him that deserved money and term when the team’s salary cap situation improves next season.
A lot of that will depend on how Maroon plays next season. The 30-year-old will likely find himself on the team’s third line, which could prove challenging to put up big numbers in. However, with his experience and ability to play along with top-line talent like he did alongside Connor McDavid in Edmonton, Maroon could easily find himself in a top-six role if injuries develop or lines don’t produce like the team hopes.
- In a mailbag segment, the Tennessean’s Adam Vingan writes that he wonders whether the Nashville Predators insistence on not including no-movement clauses is what’s hurting the team from signing top free agents to their team. In fact, the scribe wonders whether the team can keep that policy up when it comes to re-signing defenseman Ryan Ellis. The problem with refusing to include no-movement clauses into contracts is that players will often take less money to stay with the Predators due to the lack of a state tax in Tennessee. However, the issue that many players have is that if the team trades them and the player then doesn’t receive the tax benefits. Only goaltender Pekka Rinne has a no-movement clause.
- Mark Lazerus of The Chicago Sun-Times writes that despite the team lack of success when bringing back former Stanley Cup Champions to their lineup, the acquisition of Marcus Kruger is a minimal risk. The veteran forward, who was acquired in the Marian Hossa deal with the Arizona Coyotes, is in the last year of a three-year, $9.25MM deal in which he will only cost them $2.775MM against the cap. The forward struggled in Carolina last year, posting just six points in 48 games and played some time in the AHL as well. However, it turns out he played most of the season with a sports hernia injury. At just 28 years of age, the team should be thrilled if they can get some quality minutes out of him on the team’s fourth line.