Ask any red-blooded Texan about their love of sports, and only a few will declare their love for ice hockey. Texans are crazy about baseball and football, so even when the Minnesota North Stars relocated to Dallas in 1993 and then won the coveted Stanley Cup within six seasons, ice hockey and the NHL was and still are seen as a niche sport in the Lone Star State. Not for Patrick “Pat” Maroon, though.
Maroon was born on April 23, 1988, in St. Louis, Missouri, and he used to attend St. Louis Blues games as a child. As a teenager, Maroon’s love for hockey grew, and he played for the St. Louis Amateur Blues, where, cruelly, he earned the nickname “Fat Pat” because he was 6ft 1in tall and weighed 260 lb. Determined to prove the doubters wrong, Maroon spent countless hours honing his playmaking abilities using a golf ball and a stick in his parent’s garage. Maroon harbored dreams of playing for teams listed on www.onlinesportsbetting.net but always thought his weight and lack of speed on the ice would hinder his progress.
Starring For the Texaranka Bandits
In 2005, as a fresh-faced 17-year-old, Maroon turned out for the Texarkana Bandits, who was part of the North American Hockey League. The team, now known as the St. Louis Bandits, played at the 3,500-capacity Four States Fairgrounds and desperately needed to strengthen its roster. Jon Cooper coached the Bandits at the time (in addition to holding down several other positions with the franchise). Maroon was recommended to him by the former NHL forward Kelly Chase, who saw something in Maroon. Cooper took a chance on Maroon, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Maroon shone for the Bandit, scoring 23 goals and 37 assists in 57 goals, an excellent return for the man they mocked as “Fat Pat.” The team relocated to St. Louis the following year, and they won the championship thanks partly to Maroon’s 40 goals and 55 assists in 57 appearances. His performances for the Bandits ultimately resulted in the Philadelphia Flyers drafting Maroon 161st overall in the 2007 NHL Draft. The flyers reassigned Maroon to their Ontario Hockey League affiliate London Knights, where he spent one season before playing for the Philadelphia Phantoms, Adirondack Phantoms, and Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League during the next few years.
The Anaheim Ducks gave Maroon his NHL debut during the 2011-12 season, and he stayed with them until the 2015-16 campaign when he joined the Edmonton Oilers. After 2.5 seasons, Maroon left the Oilers for the New Jersey Devils, but he only managed 16 games during the 2017-18 season. The Devils let Maroon go during the postseason after he required surgery on a herniated disc in his back.
Winning the First of Three Stanley Cups
The St. Louis Blues, the team Maroon supported as a young boy, acquired his services as a free agent and tied him to a one-year $1.75 million contract. He played 74 regular season games and scored 28 points as he helped the Blues to the playoffs. Amazingly, he won the 2019 Stanley Cup in his first season with the Blues, achieving a lifetime goal.
Jon Cooper, who had coached Maroon during his time with the Texaranka Bandits, convinced Maroon to join the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning went on to become the 2020 Stanley Cup champions. Thus Maroon became only the third player in the post-expansion era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with different teams. To everyone’s surprise, the Lightning won the 2021 Stanley Cup, meaning Maroon had gone three-for-three in different uniforms, the first player in NHL history to do so.
Maroon has a realistic chance of winning four straight Stanley Cups because the Lightning are flying high in the Atlantic Division, trailing only the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maples Leafs. He may only have nine points in 48 games, but Maroon is playing his part in the Lightning’s success. It’s fair to say he has come a long way since cutting his hockey teeth in Texaranka.
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