As the Philadelphia Flyers prepare to find out their second round opponent in the next 12 hours or so, the team does so in desperate need of a lift after losing three of their top 12 forwards to injury the past week. Jeff Carter (broken right foot) and Ian Laperriere (brain contusion, concussion) have been lost for basically the entire playoffs, while Simon Gagne (broken toe) will miss a large chunk of the upcoming Conference Semi-Finals series.
In the series clinching Game Five win last Thursday in Newark, the Flyers got by without Gags and Carts, using Ville Leino and David Laliberte as replacements. While it is expected the two may remain on the active roster for the upcoming series, there will need to be one more spot filled with the loss of Lappy for the remainder of the playoffs. Who do the Flyers bring in to fill the gigantic hole left by Ian Laperriere? Will it be grit and toughness in a player like Riley Cote? Or will the Flyers look more towards the skill side of things and bring in a Jon Kalinski or Andreas Nodl?
What about a little bit of both in Patrick Maroon?
Shown here in pre-season action, Maroon would give the Flyers another big body
Maroon, a 22 year old power forward, was a long shot to make the Flyers roster in Training Camp this past summer, and instead spent the entire season with the Flyers’ main AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. In his second year of professional hockey, Maroon ranked once again in the top half of the scoring leaders for the Phantoms, tallying 11 goals and 33 assists for 44 points in 67 games. In 2008-’09, Maroon notched 23 goals and 54 points. However, scoring isn’t the only aspect of Maroon’s game that might make him a tangible weapon for the Flyers moving forward. Maroon finished third on the Phantoms with 125 penalty minutes, and isn’t afraid to mix things up physically on a consistent basis. Given his frame – 6’4”, 225 – who can blame him? Still, he’s not fully matured as a player and the Flyers run the severe risk of throwing him out there and having Maroon be in way over his head with the intensity of playoff hockey.
While that argument can certainly be made, I am one who is against it. My thoughts are the following: although he’s been great this year, I would be surprised if the Flyers resigned Arron Asham, especially when they have a feasible replacement already in-house in Mr. Maroon. Why not get him out there now, on the biggest stage and on the highest pressure level, and see how he handles himself. Chances are he will be a favorite to make the team out of Camp next year, but he can go a long way to solidifying that spot on the Flyers roster if he can make things happen in the playoffs – given he gets the opportunity. Of course, this is purely speculation – the Flyers may not even end up going with Maroon in the upcoming series, however you have to like his chances. The St. Louis, Missouri native has been working off and on in Flyers practices on a line with Dan Carcillo and Mike Richards. If Richards is involved with Maroon, you know something may potentially be brewing for the Flyers moving forward.
Honestly, I don’t see many problems with Maroon joining the big club in the second round. He’s a big body who can play physical and score points, and the Flyers will need all of that they can get come the beginning of round two. Actually, come to think of it, there may exist one problem with the Maroon coming to the Flyers in round two: he wore #16 playing in Adirondack.
For some reason, I feel that’s the only part about him that wouldn’t fly for the Orange and Black in round two.