It seems like there was one thing that was priceless for forward Patrick Maroon as he explored the free agency market this past week: he couldn't put a price tag on playing back at home in St. Louis. On Tuesday, the Blues signed the free agent to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million. The signing saw the St. Louis, Mo., native join his hometown team.
Maroon had expressed the desire to join the Blues when he was put on the block during the February's trade deadline. In the end, the Edmonton Oilers moved him to the New Jersey Devils in return for rights to J.D. Dudek and thrid-round pick in the 2019 draft.
The Devils wanted him back. And badly. On Wednesday, general manager Ray Shero revealed to The Athletic's Corey Masisak that he wanted to re-signed Maroon to a contract extension to keep him in the fold. He even admitted to offering the free agent more money than the Blues did, however, the GM said he is proud of the decision Maroon has taken.
Maroon is coming off of a $2 million deal and had been expected to demand a higher salary than this previous one, especially seeing that he had a fantastic 2016-17 season and that his 44 goals across two seasons increased his value on the market. The Blues will benefit from acquiring Maroon, who will boost the lower half of the roster in St. Louis. Maroon is also expected to bring in an interesting physicality to the Blues' lineup while putting up some points at the same time.
There had some concern since Maroon underwent surgery in May to repair a herniated disk in his back, however, he is expected to be ready for training camp. Making the best decision for his family was one of Maroon's main deciding factors for free agency, so a move back home makes a lot of sense for him.
With the Maroon addition, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong’s busy summer continues. The Blues have managed to add forwards Tyler Bozak, David Perron and goaltender Chad Johnson via free agency this offseason, while also adding star centre Ryan O’Reilly via a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres. In effect, the Blues have subtracted Paul Stastny, Patrick Bergland, Vladimir Sobotka and Carter Hutton from last year’s roster in exchange for O’Reilly, Bozak, Perron and Johnson.
We guess the expected success of the Blues and the joy of being back home were more important to Maroon than a major offer on the table from the Devils...