The Edmonton Oilers are in sell-now mode. This much is clear. A completely underwhelming and failed season has put Peter Chiarelli's team in hot water, with the odds of making the playoffs all but nonexistent at this stage of the season.
This, after a successful 2016-17 campaign that set the bar high for this year. The failings of this team are almost inexplicable. The team simply doesn't appear fast enough, and they haven't been able to rely on consistent performances throughout their roster.
As such, Chiarelli is going to sell off the rentals and acquire assets to turn this team around before they tailspin like they had been since 2006. It seems inconceivable that such a thing could happen with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl leading the way, as well as a bevy of talented young players in the lineup.
Players like Mark Letestu and Patrick Maroon are on the outs, and will almost certainly be traded as the deadline approaches.
We've been talking about the inevitability of Maroon being traded, as it's been reported by multiple insiders such as Darren Dreger and Elliotte Friedman. But a recent report from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal suggests that there might be more to the plan than simply trading Maroon away.
While the talks aren't on "the front-burner", there have been contract extension talks with the management.
"Maroon could get to 20 again this year, but while there’s been some talk about a new deal, it’s been simmering conversation — nothing on the front-burner, either a three or a four-year contract, in the $3.75- to $4.5-million range depending on the length of the deal," Matheson revealed.
But with Chiarelli needing to acquire assets, there's a good chance he rents out Maroon to a rival team, such as the Boston Bruins have reportedly demonstrated interest in the big winger. The Anaheim Ducks could very well be interested in getting him back.
But when the summer comes around, could Maroon come back to Edmonton on a new deal? The possibility is very real. He wants to be here, that much is clear.
“You know the situation I’m in,” said Maroon. “But I’m an Edmonton Oiler, I want to stay here. I love this city, the fans, this group of guys. I think my teammates know that.”
So - this is a situation that could unfold: Chiarelli trades Maroon for a pick and a prospect, and signs him back in the summer. The only risk involved is that Maroon really enjoys playing for the team he gets traded to and decides he wants to continue his career there. In that event, Chiarelli walks away with the acquired assets and some cap space. Otherwise, keeping him on the roster won't do anything for the team's immediate future, and he could potentially choose to walk anyways, despite how much he loves it here. Sometimes money speaks the loudest.
Either way, trading him is by far the best option. But perhaps it will only be temporary. If they are discussing a new contract, and Maroon is to be believed when he says how much he wants to stay here, they could foreseeably trade him, then sign him.
Would you want the Oilers to get Maroon back, or move on from him this summer?