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Sitting in the confines of my basement with Pandora blasting Foo Fighters and the TV on mute I sit reflecting on the loss of former St. Louis Blue #7 Pat Maroon. Indeed, this will be one of many blogs or articles referencing a renowned player from our beloved city. For this piece, I only look toward saying thank you. Thank you for having the heart and gumption to feel that you wanted nothing more than to give your best to St. Louis.
You took a deal lesser than what was offered from other teams to play in front of your hometown fans. From the beginning, you approached the season in this manner, and you stayed the course. You wanted to play in front of your fans and be closer to your family and your son. The entire city jumped on board and was behind you as you took the role as the hometown boy for the season. Appearing in several commercials throughout the city only cemented your presence as Big Rig Maroon during the season.
Once the season started, there was always a casual reference when #7 came up in conversation, whether it be your style of play or your “big body” presence. During the season you played a staunch 74 games which speak highly to your level of commitment to the club. You notched ten goals with an added 18 assists throughout the regular season. Once the playoffs started, you flipped a switch and put your game on a new level. You played 26 playoff games and poured yourself into every single moment you had on the ice.
Your style of play never changed, and you only continued to be a presence around the net. St. Louis fans will forever remember the moment during the 2nd overtime with 14 minutes left of Game 7 against Dallas when you catapulted our team to the next round. I could watch that highlight over and over and still get goosebumps! The face-off win, your pass to Thomas, he shoots, and you finish the feed into the net. Ben Bishop looks to his left with eyes wide knowing the series is over as you skate to the bench and embrace the coaching staff.
At that time in Blues history, fans were bewildered all because of your actions. If there is a cloud nine for Blues fans at that time, we were all on cloud ten!
The momentum you gave us propelled us into our next round and the city was on fire for you. Even if we didn’t win it all, there would be no question that Pat Maroon wasn’t responsible for at least getting us to the final round. Seeing your arms raised on the ice after you scored, skating over to the bench and hugging Coach Berube was exquisite. Your son in the stands with tears rolling down his face knowing his dad put us in the Cup Finals. That moment will forever be priceless!
As we fast forward into the next season, I am left with feelings of nostalgia. Your season with us leaves me feeling the same as when David Freese was with the Cardinals. You see, if it were not for David Freese’ game-winning home run in Game 6 of the playoffs in 2011, we would not have had a game 7. The same can be said for your effort in game 7. If it weren’t for your pass back to Thomas and his shot on the high left side of Bishop when you cleaned it up for the goal, we wouldn’t be here.
David Freese gave us a forever highlight and one last chance to get to a game 7 in 2011. You, Pat Maroon, gave us a chance at one more round in your game 7. St. Louis will be forever grateful for that moment and all that you have done for this city. Aside from that moment, you took the time to go the extra mile and make a difference in other’s lives. Everyone will remember Game 7 against Dallas. Will everyone remember what you did for our community? I hope so. You took time out of your day along with Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Chris Wideman to visit the family of a local slain officer. You cared enough to visit with family members of North County Cooperative Police Officer Michael Langsdorf and give your condolences. In my opinion that speaks volumes to your character.
A player can be trained and taught good habits in hockey. The character of a player comes from within, and Pat Maroon showed us why he is worth his weight in gold for the city of St. Louis. Maroon was nothing short of a great role model for up and coming young hockey players, and his attention to fans was stellar. Maroon knew his role, accepted his responsibility as a hometown guy, and did a fantastic job.
I am not sure Pat would ever read this article, but if he ever did, I would most certainly say thank you. Thank you for being selfless in coming home to St. Louis even if it were for only one season. You are a standup guy and someone that all fans can look up to. You gave us memories that will last a lifetime. Although your time in St. Louis is complete, know that when I am at a home game with The Note playing against you, I will always stand and cheer for you. Thank you for changing our lives. Thank you for helping us get our Cup, our parade and for coming home. I wish you the best in Tampa.
Thank you for reading. Take care of yourselves and each other.