by Arielle Sargent || AHL On The Beat Archive
When his tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers organization ended abruptly in October of 2010, one thing was for sure – the future of Patrick Maroon’s career in pro hockey was completely unknown.
“It doesn’t really hit you the first one or two days but then two weeks go by and you start to think that your career could really be over,” said Maroon, recalling his reaction after being dismissed by the Flyers from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. “You realize that you need to see what is going on and what you need to do to fix things.”
Maroon got a chance at a new start when the Anaheim Ducks acquired him in a trade, and on Nov. 21, 2010, he was assigned to the Syracuse Crunch.
Maroon made the most of his new opportunity and finished the 2010-11 season as one of the Crunch’s leading point-getters, totaling 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 57 games for Syracuse.
What did Maroon change about how he played and acted as a player in the course of a year?
“During games, there’s only 60 minutes of hockey so giving it everything you’ve got and making sure you leave it all out there is something I think I have really tried to change,” said Maroon.
In their 2011-12 home opener, the Crunch crushed the Phantoms, 6-2. Maroon tallied three points (1g, 2a) against the team that only a year ago had told him he was no longer needed.
Soon after that performance, Maroon received news that he was being called up to the Ducks.
“When I found out, I thought this is my chance the past is behind me and this is where I will ride it out with a team that is going to give me a chance,” said Maroon.
Maroon not only made his NHL debut on Oct. 25, 2011, when the Ducks visited the Chicago Blackhawks, he also got a chance to live out his dream to play with greats such as Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Maroon appeared in two games for the Ducks, before being returned to the Crunch on Oct. 28.
Currently leading the team in both assists (22) and points (36), Maroon has continued to perform since his return to the Crunch. The stat sheet is not the only place he has established himself as a leader though. Maroon has led the team as an alternate captain, wearing the letter “A” three times this season.
“I have never had a letter in pro hockey, so to have it for those three games was an honor because obviously the coach saw something in me and chose me to be the leader,” said Maroon. “It was also a really big improvement from being sent home last year to coming in here and being able to get the opportunity to be the guy who can lead this team to some wins.”
With a combination of determination and leadership, Maroon has been able to put the past behind him and focus on the present.
“Coming into the rink happy, enjoying life, enjoying the game and the people around me has made me make sure I’m on top of everything I need to be on top of,” said Maroon.
Currently, Maroon is focusing his efforts on leading the team to a winning streak and pushing them into the top eight in the conference.
“Once we do that, our team is going to be one step closer to good things and hopefully that will earn us a spot in the playoffs.”