A year ago, Pat Maroon decided to take less money in order to head home to St. Louis and play hockey closer to his son. That decision, based entirely on his personal life, ended up having huge ramifications on his professional one as Maroon was an integral part of the Blues’ first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The power forward scored just three goals in 26 playoff contests but had perhaps the most memorable one of the entire postseason when he chipped in a loose puck in double overtime against the Dallas Stars to send the Blues to the third round.
Now, as free agency approaches again, Maroon has another decision to make on whether to pursue a contract elsewhere. The 31-year old is an unrestricted free agent once again after his one-year deal with the Blues expires, but has “several teams” looking into him according to Ryan Rishaug of TSN. The Calgary Flames are one of those, which would represent a return to the Pacific Division for the former Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers forward.
How Calgary would afford Maroon without him taking another healthy discount isn’t clear. The team currently projects to have close to $13MM in cap space for next season, but still has plenty of work to do with their own restricted free agents. Not only do solid players like Sam Bennett and David Rittich need new deals, but young star Matthew Tkachuk is part of the league-wide group of players coming off their entry-level deals that may be demanding huge raises. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic isn’t sure how well the initial conversation between Tkachuk and the Flames went, and Eric Francis of Sportsnet recently detailed how that negotiation is slowing down everything else Calgary is trying to do.
There is undoubtedly going to be interest in Maroon, who can be a physical force and still chip in a little offense when required. While he may never replicate the 27-goal campaign he had in 2016-17, postseason success is almost always rewarded on the open market.