It’s probably fair to call the New Jersey Devils “the team that trades built” at this point.
GM Ray Shero continued to be aggressive in that regard, adding another piece during the waning moments of the 2018 trade deadline by acquiring Patrick Maroon from the Edmonton Oilers.
The trade: Devils receive Maroon; Oilers get a third-round pick and J.D. Dudek.
Why the Devils made the trade: Clearly they’re addicted to trades.
Kidding. The Devils are enjoying a big jump to playoff contention in 2017-18, in large part thanks to trade additions such as Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, and Cory Schneider. They’ve been adding lately, too, with Marcus Johansson (currently sidelined) and Sami Vatanen being recent additions while they also landed Michael Grabner around deadline time.
Much like Grabner, Maroon stands as a rental who cost the Devils a pick (and Dudek). New Jersey has some space to re-sign one or both of those wingers if they’d like to.
While Grabner brings speed and all-around play, Maroon is a big body with some recent successes alongside Connor McDavid. After struggling to find his footing early in his NHL career, Maroon scored 27 goals and 42 points for Edmonton last season and has 16 goals and 30 points in 57 contests during 2017-18. Those numbers are likely inflated by outstanding linemates, so the Devils might want to take Maroon for a test drive before considering keeping him around (if they have any plans as such).
As great as Hall and a handful of others have been for New Jersey, the Devils likely desire more scoring support, especially without doing a whole lot to bolster a shaky-on-paper defense. Adding Grabner and Maroon could really help bolster that supporting scoring, and the Devils didn’t move a first-round pick.
Why the Oilers made the trade: Edmonton’s not necessarily looking to rebuild, but they need to go to the drawing board a bit.
This trade accomplishes two things: it lands the Oilers futures and also keeps them from hastily handing what could be a foolish extension to Maroon. This team has some key decisions to make regarding pending free agents such as Darnell Nurse, not to mention if they want to keep the likes of Ryan-Nugent Hopkins around.
Maybe the Oilers would even consider bringing Maroon back during the off-season, but why not answer bigger questions before keeping a non-core player around? That said, he could be back.
Seeing the prices flying around today, this haul might be a little disappointing. Really, a lot of this likely comes down to Maroon not being sold at a high point. It happens, but at least Edmonton got something.
Who won the trade?
Maroon has his doubters, while other teams yielded better returns for their rentals. So maybe it’s a case of modest returns for both teams? That said, it doesn’t seem like much of a gamble for either side, either.