The Edmonton Oilers locked up restricted free agent Leon Draisaitl, and inked an eight-year extension with Connor McDavid, but still have more work to do to keep this team together. One of the players they’d like to keep is big winger Patrick Maroon, and as Ryan Rishaug of TSN reports, the two sides have had early conversations on a potential extension.
Maroon broke out playing alongside McDavid last year, scoring 27 goals and registering 45 points. While those totals look minuscule next to McDavid’s 100-point season, they’re easily career-highs for the 29-year old power forward.
In training camp it looks like Maroon will get another crack at the shotgun seat on McDavid’s line, which will likely result in another strong season. What that means in terms of an extension is tricky though. Could anyone post those numbers with one of the best players in the world? Does Maroon compliment McDavid’s speed and finesse game especially well? Would his production fall off a cliff if put lower in the lineup? These are all questions the Oilers will have to answer before handing out any long-term money.
The team must also be mindful of their salary cap structure going forward. Next year, when McDavid’s $100MM extension kicks in, the team will have four forwards making $33MM each season. That’s nearly half of the salary cap already, without including the hefty contracts they’ve given out on defense and some new deals that are required for restricted free agents.
If Maroon is negotiating like a true 27-goal man, the Oilers may not be able to fit him in. If it’s more a good-faith, perfect-fit conversation, perhaps they can come to an agreement that keeps the “Big Rig” in Edmonton long-term.