Out of playoff contention, the Edmonton Oilers are getting ready to be sellers at the trade deadline, and forwards Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu are well-placed on the block. Furthermore, Maroon knows the Boston Bruins are watching him. As a matter of fact, Bruins scout John Ferguson Jr. has reportedly watched the Oilers a half-dozen times in the last two weeks, along with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The forward can feel eyes burning on his back. And to make matters worse, he missed the Oilers' practice on Wednesday and his absence sparked wild trade speculation, as the Bruins and Lightning are looking to add a boost up front in the next five days. Now, he was suffered a lower-body injury, hence why he has been sidelined, but on Friday, the Oilers announced that they were holding a press conference now.
Now, let's stay calm. General manager Peter Chiarelli could be meeting with the press to discuss the extent of Maroon's injury and how it may impact the Oilers' position on the market ahead of Monday's trade deadline. Sources say the Oilers have been asking for a first-round pick for Maroon as a starting point in negotiations, which could be a deal breaker for many interested teams.
Fans could imitate Maroon, who has kept brushing off the trade chatter, but it might be harder to do so today, depending on what Chiarelli has to tell the media.
“I wish we weren’t talking about this. I wish our team was in a better situation (and not in sell-off mode),” Maroon told the Edmonton Sun on Tuesday. “I’d rather all you people weren’t crowding around me today, asking me about it.
“I put my jersey on every night and it’s an Edmonton Oilers’ jersey. I love the city, the group of guys. It’s a good fit for me.”
The Bruins do have their first- through fourth-round picks for 2018, so GM Don Sweeney could possibly outbid Lighting general manager Steve Yzerman in a battle for Maroon. Other available wingers — such as Rick Nash, Evander Kane and Thomas Vanek - may also push the Oilers to bring down their price tag, as the market is quite saturated at the moment.
The St. Louis Blues are also said to be interested in landing hometown boy Maroon. The Blues may be Maroon’s preferred landing spot, he who keeps saying he wants to stay in Edmonton, but St. Louis would have to meet the demanded price. GM Doug Armstrong might be more willing to go after Vancouver Canucks veteran forward Thomas Vanek instead.
One thing is clear, we will know more after the interestingly timed news conference this afternoon.