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Maroon wins consecutive Stanley Cup titles with Lightning, Blues

Pat Maroon became the third player in the NHL expansion era to win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons with different teams when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday.

After winning with the St. Louis Blues last season, the forward joined Cory Stillman and Claude Lemieux as the only players to win the Cup with different teams in consecutive seasons since the 1967-68 season.

“To be in that category is something amazing,” Maroon said. “… I can’t believe I’m in this position again. … This is amazing. An amazing accomplishment for me and my teammates, and I’m happy to be still playing here.”

Stillman won the Cup with the Lightning in 2004, then the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. The Cup was not awarded in 2005; the 2004-05 NHL season was canceled because of a work stoppage.

Lemieux won it with the New Jersey Devils in 1995 and the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.

The last player to be part of back-to-back championships with different teams was Mark Hartigan, who played for the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and Detroit Red Wings in 2008 but doesn’t have his name on the Stanley Cup after not meeting the games-played criteria in either season (at least 41 games played in the regular season or one game played in the Final).

Maroon is also the eighth player in NHL history to win consecutive titles with different teams. The players who did so prior to expansion were: Al Arbour and Ed Litzenberger (1961 Chicago Black Hawks, 1962 Toronto Maple Leafs); Ab McDonald (1960 Montreal Canadiens, 1961 Black Hawks); Lionel Conacher (1934 Black Hawks, 1935 Montreal Maroons; and Eddie Gerard (1921 Ottawa Senators, 1922 Toronto St. Patricks, 1923 Senators).

A St. Louis native, Maroon signed a one-year contract with the Blues on July 10, 2018. He scored seven points (three goals, four assists) in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help St. Louis defeat the Boston Bruins in seven games.

Maroon had six points (one goal, five assists) in 25 postseason games for the Lightning, including an assist on Blake Coleman’s goal in the second period Monday to help close out the series in Edmonton, the hub city for the Final.

“They were both emotional years, I guess,” Maroon said. “St. Louis was obviously different going from last (after games of Jan. 2) to first and then making that amazing run. And then this year with the pause (to the NHL season March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus) and then being in this bubble, two different scenarios but two amazing groups and I wouldn’t have done it without these guys.”

Maroon played two NHL games over the first five seasons of his professional career. Chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round (No. 161) of the 2007 NHL Draft, he played three seasons for their American Hockey League affiliate before being traded to the Ducks on Nov. 21, 2010. Maroon played two games for Anaheim during the 2011-12 season but the majority of it in the AHL, where he scored 74 points (32 goals, 42 assists) in 75 games for Syracuse. He played the following season in Norfolk of the AHL.

Maroon finally became a full-time player with the Ducks in 2013-14 but was traded to the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 29, 2016. He set NHL career highs in goals (27) and points (45) in 2016-17 and helped the Oilers come within a victory of the Western Conference Final.

But he was traded again the following season, this time to the Devils on Feb. 26, 2018. He scored 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 17 games to help New Jersey clinch a playoff berth.

Two years and two teams later, he’s celebrating a second straight championship.

“It was very hard,” Maroon said of being in the bubble for 65 days since arriving in Toronto, the hub city for the first two rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs, on July 26. “Obviously being away from your kids, your wife, family, whatever that may be. Sitting in your hotel rooms, there were some dark days there where you just kind of just wanted to sleep it off a little bit, fight for the next day, but these guys battled hard and that’s why we did. We worked hard, we came together as a group, and we found ways to get things done.”

Lightning coach Jon Cooper credited Maroon for accepting what he was given on a team loaded with high-end skill. Maroon scored 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 64 regular-season games.

“He’s a good teammate,” Cooper said. “He knows his role, so he’s knows the minutes he’s going to get. I’m a big believer in giving guys roles and make sure they all know what they are, and he knows his.

“He’s got character and he is a character, so it’s kind of two good attributes to have. Really good team guy.” staff writer David Satriano contributed to this report

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