Truer words than this were never spoken…
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) June 15, 2019
Last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning had an historic regular season in the NHL, accumulating 62 wins, tied for the most in league history, and piling up 127 points, which was the fourth most.
When it came to the second season, however, the Blues had St. Louisan Patrick Maroon. A gritty, competitive, big winger that was a key cog in the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup Championship. The Lightning were eliminated in the first round, and one of the reasons given for their early ouster was the lack of grit that guys like Maroon bring. Tampa Bay went a long way toward solving their tenacity problem when THEY signed Maroon on Saturday to a one year, $900,000 contract.
The Blues would have liked to have brought Maroon back, but they couldn’t make it work from a salary cap standpoint. After re-signing goalie Jordan Binnington and forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Zach Sanford, along with an arbitration with Joel Edmundson and no deal yet with Ivan Barbashev, they simply didn’t have the cap room to re-sign him now.
The fact that he was even around for game seven of the Final was somewhat of a surprise. In early January, with the Blues mired near the basement of the league’s standings, 101 ESPN Blues insider Jeremy Rutherford speculated about Maroon’s short term future wearing the Note.
Obviously, that all changed. After the All Star Break, Maroon picked up 14 points in 33 games and was a plus-7. Before the break, in 41 games he had 14 points and was a minus-10. In the playoffs, the St. Louisan turned it up with some monster goals…
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 30, 2019
Local kid Pat Maroon wins it in OT for his hometown Blues pic.twitter.com/m4ZgjXJd6z
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) May 8, 2019
Then in the Final, with all the statements about how the Bruins were so much more experienced than the Blues, Maroon was undaunted when Brad Marchand tried to bait him. Perhaps the highlight of the series that wasn’t game seven was in game two, when he yelled at the Bruins bench “you guys are f@(}<d…
— STLSportsCentral (@stlsportscntrl) May 30, 2019
The fired up Blues won the Cup in seven games, and Maroon was a huge part of it.
There’s really only one other guy that can match what Maroon did in our town, and that’s David Freese because of Game Six in 2011. Trent Green could have been one of those guys. The Blues hoped Paul Stastny would have been. Former Cardinal John Fulgham was on his way before an unfortunate injury virtually ended his career. The only two St. Louis born and bred athletes to star in championships for their teams are Freese and Maroon.
Upon signing with Tampa Bay, the always classy Maroon thanked Blues fans on Twitter…
— Pat Maroon (@patmaroon) August 25, 2019
Like he said, his days with the Blues couldn’t have ended any better than with the first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history. Maroon leaves the Blues as an all-time fan favorite, and an all-time St. Louis sports hero.
From a long time Blues fan that thought he’d never see what you delivered, thanks, Patrick.