With the NHL Trade Deadline quickly approaching, there seems to be plenty of rumors surrounding Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon. It’s no secret the 29-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) this summer and is the most valuable of Edmonton’s pending free agents.
Last week I ran a poll asking fans if they thought the Oilers should trade or keep Maroon. The results said that 57% of fans thought Edmonton should re-sign the left winger. Without a contract, and with February 26 just three weeks away, the rumors aren’t going away.
You can count Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal as one that doesn’t believe the Oilers should be so hasty to give Maroon away. Matheson doesn’t see the Oilers moving Maroon unless they’re confident they can find an adequate replacement. More importantly, someone who still score 20 goals and 40 points.
He also thinks the only other scenario a Maroon trade happens is if general manager Peter Chiarelli can land a right-shot offensive defenseman. Matheson, like many, believe Maroon is part of the solution in Edmonton, and not the problem.
The concern from many though is the thought of having two slower lumbering bodies on the left side when the Oilers clearly lack foot speed in their lineup. So the question becomes, do you trade him or keep him? Here’s the latest on what’s going on with these Maroon rumors.
Oilers Could Trade Maroon, Sign Him in Summer
There’s an interesting scenario that could unfold with this Maroon situation if Edmonton can’t get a contract extension signed. Elliotte Friedman believes the two sides will continue their dialog in hopes of finding a deal that works for both sides. If they don’t, Friedman thinks the Oilers are working on contingency plans.
Friedman believes one of those plans could be to trade Maroon at the deadline, only to bring him back in the summer during free agency. Edmonton would be able to acquire some much-needed pieces in this scenario to bolster a roster that needs an overhaul. For Maroon, he gets a chance to play for a Stanley Cup contender this spring.
It’s an unlikely possibility, but a possibility nonetheless. Maroon has 13 goals in 52 games this season and scored 27 goals last season. There would definitely be some interest around the league in bringing in a potential top-six power forward with scoring abilities.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli has moved Maroon up to third on his Trade Bait board behind Evander Kane (Buffalo Sabres), and Mike Green (Detroit Red Wings). Maroon, unlike some of the others on Seravalli’s list, doesn’t have a no-movement (NMC) or no-trade (NTC) clause in his contract.
His $1.5 million cap hit would be easily digestible for suitors as well, which increases his trade value for the Oilers.
Could Maroon Be Traded to Eastern Conference?
The Fourth Period published an interesting report that speculates that Maroon could end up being traded to an Eastern Conference team. One of the teams apparently is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who also have interest in Mark Letestu. There are four other teams from the East that may be interested as well.
They go on to list the Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning look poised to make a deep playoff run, but they’ve currently got Yanni Gourde and Alex Killorn on the left side. Gourde has been a revelation this season with 20 goals and 41 points in 55 games.