The St. Louis Blues might be playing a touch-and-go game with the Pat Maroon situation. However, as long as they are within the rules, getting a deal early might be smart.
The St. Louis Blues managed a solid deal when they scored Pat Maroon on a hometown discount. Signing a guy that would normally go for at least $3 million or more and getting him for half that is a pretty sweet deal.
Fans can and will argue about his value to the team. Maroon’s detractors point out a lack of pure speed and low goal totals.
However, Maroon is basically the plow that clears the way for the scorers. Even if he does not rack up the points, he is a valuable tool when played in a top-six role. If he is not utilized in a top-six role, he still has enough talent to score and be a physical asset on your third line as well.
The interesting thing about the deal with Maroon was it was reported he could sign an extension in January. While this is the case for almost all one-year deals, it seemed strange or perhaps coincidental that this would get mentioned.
Now, we come to find out that the Blues might – I stress might – have a wink wink deal going on with Maroon. What that means is they may have a hand-shake deal to give him an extension as soon as they can.
In an article on MyNHLTradeRumors, they linked a clip from Jeremy Rutherford’s mailbag where he suggested such a deal would be foolish on both sides. His argument, which makes sense, is that Maroon could be leaving money on the table if he has a really good year or the Blues might pay too much if he gets injured again.
I take the opposite view. If he has a really good year, Doug Armstrong has a bad habit of overpaying. Negotiating an extension in January would be just the right time to see what kind of track he is on.
If Maroon’s back issues pop back up, you would think it likely to happen in the first few months of the season. You can make an argument that the fatigue of a season will wear it out later on, but that is a risk you run no matter what. So, by the time January rolls around, if there have been no issues, the Blues should feel free to pursue a new contract with Big Rig.
From my point of view, the Blues would benefit from getting a deal done earlier than later as long as Maroon seems healthy. Of course, they should do their due diligence and have the trainers look him over beforehand.
However, given Armstrong’s penchant for giving out deals that are too rich during the summer, an extension in the winter might be just what the doctor ordered.
The big issue from here on out is that the Blues are doing things by the book. We all know that these sorts of things get done in back rooms and restaurants before they are supposed to. The Blues have a history of getting popped for it though and it would be really disappointing to get punished for “tampering” with a player that is already on your roster.
Hopefully, it works out for all parties involved. An early deal seems fine to me though.