In case you live under a rock, or are just simply brain dead, the St. Louis Blues won the 2019 Stanley Cup. Keep in mind, they were dead last on January 1st. DEAD. LAST.
As impressive as that is, let’s place our focus on the close-to-home player that hoisted The Cup the other night. St. Louis native, Patrick Maroon, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers 161st overall in the 2007 NHL Draft.
He was almost immediately assigned to the Phantoms, and after never suiting up for an NHL game for the Flyers, he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks. After six years in The Sunshine State (with brief stints in New York), he was traded to my personal favorite team, the Edmonton Oilers. They then moved him to the New Jersey Devils, who Maroon wasn’t too interested in resigning with. He was tired of feeling like a journeyman pinball.
The phones were quiet for Maroon when the UFA market opened last summer. There were a few offers on the table, but Patrick wanted to be closer to St. Louis, as he had only spent two birthdays with his son prior to this season. One of the teams offered to pay him double what his previous contract was worth. He politely declined.
Patrick called the St. Louis Blues and gave it to them straight. “Listen, Blues. I want to play in the NHL, but I want to spend time with my son. I need to be in St. Louis. Do it for the family . Capiche?” The Blues eventually gave in to his demands and signed him to a one-year contract.
This was great news for Patrick, as he could now be home with his son Anthony all season, instead of brief visits during breaks and between road trips. Calling the Blues that day may have been the best decision Pat Maroon ever made. Fast forward a few months, and look at him now — hoisting the 35-pound Stanley Cup. I truly hope that Patrick retires on top, or at the least the Blues give him the chance to stay in his hometown.
Congratulations to the Pat Maroon and his St. Louis Blues on their first franchise Stanley Cup!