Last season, Patrick Maroon was moved by the Edmonton Oilers at the NHL Trade Deadline to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick and prospect Joey Dudek. Maroon had 30 points in 57 games with the Oilers, on pace for the best offensive season of his career, but was even better on the other side of the deal, adding 13 points in 17 games to finish with 43 points on the year. This off-season, Maroon was expected to cash in on that success as a free agent. Instead, he signed an unexpectedly small one-year, $1.75MM deal with his hometown St. Louis Blues. Even with the local connection, many speculated that there must be a handshake agreement between the two sides for a more substantial extension once some salary could be moved off the roster this upcoming summer, an idea fueled by the unusual combination of a full no-trade clause on a single-year contract.
Well, it appears that won’t be happening after all. The season has not gone according to plan for Maroon or the Blues. The team has been struggling greatly despite several prominent off-season additions and Maroon has been part of the problem. The big winger has just three goals and eleven points in 32 games for St. Louis and has frequently been a healthy scratch. The Blues are not quitting on the season; in fact, the team with the fewest games played in the league looks far worse in the standings than their actual points percentage rank would indicate. The playoffs are not an impossibility for St. Louis, but the team is listening on all offers and would not be opposed to moving anyone who isn’t actively helping them win. According to The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford, that includes Maroon, who he expects to be traded by the deadline for a second year in a row.
What about that no-trade clause? Rutherford made the revelation that Maroon’s NTC status changes after January 31st. In the final month ahead of the trade deadline, Maroon no longer has a full no-trade clause, but instead must submit a measly eight-team no-trade list, allowing him to be moved to 22 other teams. So while Maroon is protected through the next few weeks – although Rutherford suggests the team might ask him to waive the clause earlier – the time is coming when the Blues should be able to move Maroon relatively easily.
Of course, the return this season won’t quite be what the Oilers netted last year in a mid-round pick and middling prospect. Especially in the current buyers’ market, the 30-year-old Maroon in a down year will not cost much to a team simply looking to add a bottom-six depth forward. Maroon is a hard-working forward with the versatility to play a scoring role or checking role. Even in a down year, Maroon has the size and motor to be an intriguing addition. He also assured Rutherford that he is not being bothered by any injuries nor has he stopped playing as hard as possible. St. Louis just simply hasn’t been a fit for Maroon, despite his hopes, and no longer looks like a long-term landing spot. The Blues have little reason not to shop him ahead of the deadline and sell him off to the highest bidder. Expect just that to happen by February 26th.