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Tampa Bay Lightning sign free agent forward Pat Maroon to one year deal

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The Stanley Cup winner will make $900,000 for next season.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they have signed 2019 Stanley Cup winner Pat Maroon to a one year $900,000 contract.

The former Flyers sixth round pick went home to St. Louis last season, looking to play while living with his family in his hometown when no big offers came in free agency after a career high year for points (43). He would go on to win the Stanley Cup with the Blues, helping to bring the first major championship to the city since the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2011.

Last season, Maroon scored 10 goals, and added 18 assists for 28 regular season points, and chipped in seven playoff points.

Pat Maroon has a history with coach Jon Cooper as well; back in junior hockey and the two won the NAHL championship together in 2007. with the St. Louis Bandits and Maroon was named to the NAHL all star team that season as well.

Maroon’s outlook for next season is most likely a bottom six winger, as he averaged 14 minutes a game with the a Blues roster that wasn’t as strong up front as the Lightning.

The moves follows the recent trade of Adam Erne to the Detroit Red Wings. Most fans and media speculated that trade was to make room for a younger forward like Carter Verhaeghe or Alex Volkov. But it now appears that Maroon will be taking the roster spot vacated by Erne.

It’s always possible that Maroon could lose out to the younger players in camp and his cap hit, which is almost entirely buriable in the AHL, makes that feasible. But the most likely scenario is that Maroon takes a regular spot in the bottom six delaying the arrival of younger players for another year.

For a team so stacked with forward talent, this is a bit of a surprising move but clearly, the front office felt they needed more size and physicality in the bottom six and Maroon will bring that.