The St. Louis Blues are reaching a crossroads in their 2017-18 season. They are high enough in the standings to make a push, but playing badly enough they might not want to go all in.
The St. Louis Blues have some serious decisions to make with the trade deadline looming, just 11 days away as this is being written. Love him or hate him, this is why Doug Armstrong gets paid the big bucks.
The Blues have a couple things to decide. First, are they actually contenders this year? Will making a trade shake this current team up enough to push them over the top?
Secondly, do the Blues want to risk their future for the now? Almost all the major rumors involve rental players. Do you really want to throw away some of the most promising prospects we’ve seen in years for players that are not guaranteed to return the following year?
Those are the questions facing Armstrong at the moment. I do not envy his position. He will be judged harshly by half the fanbase no matter what he does.
That said, one of the most interesting rumors out there is the Blues interest in Patrick Maroon. He is a former resident of St. Louis, but beyond just being a hometown kid, he’s a good player.
Maroon is not going to get everyone’s blood pumping at the prospect of him coming. There might even be several fans that don’t even know who he is. If the Blues make a move, they should definitely pick up Maroon or a player like him.
His stats are not flashy. He’s averaged about 18 goals per season over the last three years. His career high is 27 goals, but as some have pointed out, that came by playing on a line with Connor McDavid.
12-17 goals are probably his threshold, so no he is not going to be some amazing scorer for the Blues if they acquire him. What he will bring is a big net-front presence. He will bring skill, size, work ethic and hopefully some drive to this team.
There are going to be those that scream we need more scoring. We need more players that are willing to play within a system instead of just doing whatever the heck they want. You need players to fit certain roles.
Maroon might not have featured on the power play much in his career to this point, but if the Blues got someone willing to be in front of the net he could definitely help their unit.
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It is a fair question to ask why they would want to add another second or third line player. The truth is the Blues have far too many of those.
The answer is that Maroon can fit in anywhere in the lineup that he’s needed. On top of that, a solid second or third line player is exactly what this team needs right now.
The Blues are not one player away from making a serious Stanley Cup run. Throwing away your future makes no sense just to get a “big name” that will not actually help this team get over the hump this year.
Yes, it will make some fans happy. Yes, it will make headlines in the papers and online. No, it will not help this team win it all.
Most fans agree that this team needs at least two more pieces or more, regardless if we agree on what those are. Several of the rumored bigger names would put the team further into cap trouble.
Additionally, there are better names that will be available in the summer. Why tie your hands in the offseason for a run, if we are honest with ourselves, will likely not go anywhere?
Maroon makes a lot of sense. He’s a solid supplemental player that will not break the bank if he re-signed after the season. Given some of the potential players leaving in the offseason, that would allow the Blues to have enough money to go after some good free agents.
Some of Maroon’s best hockey was played in St. Louis as well. Granted, junior numbers do not translate to the NHL, but he scored 40 goals and 95 points with the St. Louis Bandits. He also had 10 goals and 23 points in their championship run that season.
What has been impressive during his career is his transition. Hockey came too easy to him with the Bandits and he almost seemed disinterested at times because he was so much better than everyone. He had to change that mentality quickly to thrive at each progressing level.
He has done just that, altering his game to fit his surroundings. The skill is still there. He averaged well over 20 goals per season in the AHL. He is simply asked to do different things in the NHL.
For me, Maroon fits the bill for what the team needs this season and beyond. He’d fit in with the locker room and a trade like that could give the Blues the opportunity to get rid of some dead weight.