Holding the title of having one of the most mystical collapses in recent NHL history is the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that certainly seemed like the safe bet to hoist Lord Stanley after an incredible regular season.
What that team lacked — having no previous Stanley Cup champions on their roster — was quickly addressed with their recent free-agent acquisition.
Patrick Maroon signed a one-year contract with Tampa Bay on Aug. 24, fresh off his first Stanley Cup victory with his hometown St. Louis Blues.
After putting pen to paper, Maroon spoke highly about the Tampa Bay organization, and how the chance to win another Stanley Cup appealed to him.
"I kind of knew going in what kind of an organization it was and how good that team really was," Maroon shared with Bryan Burns of NHL.com. "And for me, that's what meant the most. I felt like Tampa and their style of hockey was the best fit and I can kind of bring a different element than they're used to seeing. I felt like I can help out. They didn't really have to sell much."
Maroon’s value and experience in the locker room as a Cup champion can only benefit the Lightning, a team that fell on the wrong side of history, becoming the first Presidents’ Trophy-winning team to get swept in the first round of the playoffs.
It’s not just leadership and veteran presence that Maroon brings. Tampa also gains much needed size and physicality with the 6-foot-3, 225-pound forward.
"I'm big. I'm physical. I have good hands around the net. I can wear D down when protecting the puck below the top of the circles," Maroon said. "I'm not the flashiest guy. I'm not the fastest guy, but I bring a different element where I can create space for not only my linemates but the team."
Maroon’s role with his new team is suited to bringing that physical presence to a highly skilled and speedy forward lineup. He’s not a prolific point producer, but in St. Louis’s postseason ride last year, Maroon came in clutch with two game-winning goals, including one in double overtime in Game 7 against the Dallas Stars to send the Blues to the Western Conference Final.
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