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Uncle Pat? Maroon Would Love To Be A Bruins Mentor

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Boston Bruins, Pat Maroon

Could veteran winger Pat Maroon become the new Nick Foligno for the Boston Bruins?

When the Boston Bruins traded the then-35-year-old and potential 2023 unrestricted free agent Foligno and winger Taylor Hall to the Chicago Blackhawks just prior to the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, fans and media alike were a bit baffled that the Blackhawks immediately signed Nick Foligno to a one-year, $4 million contract. However, those within and around the Bruins knew exactly why. The Blackhawks needed the veteran winger, who became known as ‘Uncle Nick’ in the Bruins dressing room, to come in and mentor and protect eventual 2023 first-overall pick Connor Bedard. Foligno did just that and earned a two-year, $9 million contract extension with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Current Boston Bruins winger Pat Maroon would like to take over the role Foligno embraced during his two years in a Bruins uniform and sign an extension with the Bruins. The 36-year-old Maroon, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The Bruins acquired Maroon from the Minnesota Wild just prior to the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline in exchange for forward Luke Toporowski and a 2026 sixth-round conditional draft pick. Unfortunately for the Bruins and their fans, Maroon, thanks to recent back surgery, was unable to play a shift for the Boston Bruins until April 13 just one week before the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs began. The 6-foot-3, 234-pound winger wound up playing two of the team’s final three games and played in all 13 of their postseason games.

Speaking in his end-of-season media availability this past Sunday, Maroon expressed his gratitude for the team training staff that got him ready to play in the playoffs and for the tight-knit Bruins dressing room to welcome in like family.

“I want to first thank my trainers for getting me back to playing the game I love playing every day. I can’t thank them enough. [Scott Waugh, Joe Robinson and Dustin Stuck] did an amazing job to get me back,” Maroon said.

Maroon, who has three Stanley Cup rings (2019, 2020, 2021), then raved about his experience wearing the Spoked B for a short time.

“And get me back, a system that at the end of the game, I walked into the locker room not knowing anything, and they made me feel at home,” Maroon said. “I truly believe that it’s a good group of guys, and they care. It’s really close group. And it was so easy for me to come in here and transition to be myself and just be me. And the leadership group here is amazing. And to be a part of this group was really special. We really do have a close-knit group in here and I was so fortunate to be a part of that. We came up short. It’s unfortunate, but you gotta give Florida a ton of credit for bringing their game every single night. We can sit down, point the finger but we’re not.

But for me, I had the best experience in my life, in my career to be a part of this group and be a part of this. These guys that really truly care. I can’t thank them enough for welcoming me, my wife, and my daughter, my son to be part of it. When you go through teams we go through a bunch of teams.  I felt like this team was it. I really did. Just because of how everyone is and how they act and how they treat everyone. You could tell the leadership group, it’s a trickle-down effect in this group and it goes a long way.”

Could Maroon become part of that leadership group going forward? It appears it’s up to the Bruins, who are slated to have $20 million in salary cap space this offseason, to decide if he plays the role Foligno did for them and becomes ‘Uncle Pat’.

 

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