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Can The Edmonton Oilers Afford A New Deal With Patrick Maroon?

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Big Rig due for a big payoff?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers
WEEEEEEEEEEE ARE THE CHAAAAAMP’YONS, MY FRIEND
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

FLASHBACK

Way back in the year of 2016, the Oilers swung a deal with the Anaheim Ducks that sent Patrick Maroon to Northern Alberta. The cost? Martin Gernat and a fourth round pick. It was a great risk at the time, and it’s an even better trade today. The Oilers acquired what would be their third-highest goal scorer in the 2016-17 season, and the Ducks are on the hook for 33% 25% of his cap hit.

Oh, and about that cap hit? It’s a wonderful, wonderful cap hit. It works out to 2MM overall. The Oilers are on the hook for a 1.5MM while the Ducks continue to pick up the rest through 2017-18. It’s one of Chiarelli’s best moves during his tenure as Oilers GM.

FAST FORWARD

Fast forward to the end of August, 2017. The new season isn’t far off. Patrick Maroon spent significant time alongside NHL MVP Connor McDavid during Edmonton’s run to a 103 point season. Maroon’s 27 goals are a career high, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t appear again on the line that features the best player in the NHL today. While all of this is occurring, it also happens to be a contract year for the man affectionately known as ‘Big Rig’.

At age 28, what are his long term plans with the Edmonton Oilers?

A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

The first impulse for many is to sign the man. I’m not opposed to this, but like any other deal in the world (save for Connor McDavid, where the Oilers got off easy), the cap hit has to be right. Knowing the Oilers are about to enter Cap Hell in 2018-19, the club has to tread especially light here.

A few numbers:

  • 42 points is good for sixth on last year’s club (McDavid, Draisaitl, Eberle, Lucic, Nugent-Hopkins)
  • Maroon finished fourth in time on ice among Oiler forwards. He was first overall on the left wing. McLellan clearly likes Maroon, and it’s a safe bet he’ll get a tonne of work again in 2017-18.
  • A slight caution? His S% was 15.2 in 2016-17, which is a bit high. 27 goals in 178 shots on goal with a 15% shooting percentage is a bit high That’s nothing to get worked up about, as Maroon also had 300 total shot attempts. A few more of those make it through, and Maroon could hover around 27 goals again.
  • Are there any contracts that are nearly as good on the Oilers as Patrick Maroon’s? Other than McDavid’s last year on his ELC, I’m struggling to think of one. I’ll take a 42 point scorer with a 2MM hit any day of the week.

DOLLARS AND SENSE

If you could scoop him up for three more years at 2MM, you’d do it in a heartbeat. As you’re already well aware, that’s not quite how things work out. What does a good deal for Patrick Maroon look like? The Oilers will have to cook up deals for Darnell Nurse, Matthew Benning, Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Strome and Drake Caggiula along the way, and they’ve got about 16MM to do it in if they’re holding on to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Can the Oilers get him for 4MM a year for a couple of years? Probably not. If Maroon hangs out with 97 for most of the year and replicates similar numbers to last year, he’s probably going to want some more years and some more money. The Oilers could move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out to free up some more cash, but Maroon will find himself on the wrong side of 30 before too long, and giving a 4+year deal to this player isn’t a move I’m wild about.

Patrick Maroon is coming up on his final year with the Oilers. If the Oilers are to keep him past 2017-18, he’ll almost have to be willing to take a short term deal with less cash so that he’d have a chance at the big prize.