It’s been an up-and-down season for Patrick Maroon, to say the least. It may be more accurate to call it an up-and-down calendar year even. Things had not gone according to plan and yet Maroon’s play of late has the arrow pointing back up and it may lead to an extended stay with his hometown St. Louis Blues.
The 2017-18 season was a career best for Maroon, as he totaled 43 points in 74 games with two teams. Maroon began the season with the Edmonton Oilers, but it was after a trade deadline deal to the New Jersey Devils that he truly flourished. Maroon was nearly a point-per-game player for the Devils down the stretch, recording 13 points in 17 games. Unexpectedly though, the market never really developed for the 30-year-old power forward. Rather than land the anticipated upgrade to his previous three-year, $6MM contract, Maroon settled for a one-year, $1.75MM deal ten days into free agency with the Blues. There was plenty of speculation that the St. Louis native had some guarantee of an extension once the team could free up future cap space, which would help to explain why he took a discount after a career year.
However, the start to his tenure in St. Louis could not have gone any worse. It took 16 games for Maroon to record his first goal and through the end of February he had just 16 points through 55 games. Add the Blues’ early struggles in and patience had run out on Maroon by January, when rumors emerged that he was likely to be dealt before the trade deadline. Instead, St. Louis began playing well just in time and opted to hold on to all of their pieces for a playoff push. The decision has worked out well when it comes to Maroon, as he has finally picked up his game when it matters most. Since the beginning of March, Maroon has nine points in 13 games, including a recent stretch with six points in five contests. Maroon is now up to 25 points on the year and is back playing at the top of his game.
So will it be enough to get that extension in St. Louis? Even after playing poorly through the first half of the season, Maroon is outperforming his modest salary this season and is due a raise, likely in both money and term. The Blues have a number of core forwards signed long-term as well as several promising prospects knocking on the door, but Maroon’s resurgence and proven willingness to take a hometown discount could again be attractive to the team. It remains to be seen if Maroon can continue scoring in these final weeks and into the postseason, but if he does it will only make the decision easier for St. Louis to give him a new contract just months after being ready to trade him away.