The kid from Oakville has done it again.
St. Louisan Pat Maroon moved into a rare spot in NHL history on Wednesday night as he won his third consecutive Stanley Cup, doing it with two different teams. He won with the Blues in 2019 and now with Tampa Bay in 2020 and 2021 after their 1-0 win over Montreal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Tampa, Fla.
“It’s crazy,” he said.
Maroon is the first player since 1964 to win three or more consecutive Cups with two different teams. The most recent player to do it was Ed Litzenberger, who won the Cup with Chicago in 1961 and then with Toronto the next three seasons. It was also done by Ab McDonald with Montreal and Chicago from 1958-61 and Eddie Gerard with Ottawa and the Toronto St. Patricks from 1920-23.
Getting there was special for Maroon.
“I was kind of getting emotional there with a 1:40 left,” he said. “I had to keep it together there. Obviously I’m not out there, I’m watching these guys block shots and smuck it up and do everything they can for an opportunity to win. I’ve been very fortunate, very blessed to be part of three runs, three very good teams.
“You might not see me on the scoresheet. I try to bring a different element to the room, chip in when I can, just kind of relax your team a little bit. I can’t put it into words right now. I was crying basically on the bench with 1:40 left. Couldn’t even through my stuff off (at the end). Being a Stanley Cup champ three years in a row is pretty special. It takes a group, it takes a group of 25 men, and we did it, and I’m very proud of these guys. We worked in such a short season. I’m going to reminisce when I retire with my son, but right now I’m just going to soak it all in.”
Maroon is one of just nine active players to have won three Stanley Cups; no active player has won more. The other eight: Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Jonathan Toews.
Maroon has won 12 consecutive playoff series, and is one of only two players in the past 36 years to be on the roster for 12 consecutive playoff series wins, the other being Jaroslav Pouzar of Edmonton from 1984 to 1987. Other than members of the Canadiens and Islanders dynasties of the '70s and '80s, which won multiple consecutive championships, Maroon and Pouzar are the only players to win 12 series in a row.
And finally, Maroon is the fourth U.S.-born player to win three or more Stanley Cups in a row, along with Dave Langevin and Ken Morrow with the Islanders from 1980 to '83 and Bill Nyrop with Montreal from 1976 to 1978.
While the Cup he won in St. Louis stands out because of his spot as the Hometown Hero, the past two with Tampa Bay, won in less than a year, are special for their own reasons.
“COVID, going into the bubble for 60 plus days (last season),” he said, “then starting the season with COVID, no fans and having a shortened season, bouncing back after we win the Cup two months later, starting the season with 56 games, back to backs, every other day, it takes a lot, and to win the Stanley Cup: guys are banged up, guys are hurt, and it takes a group of men to compete hard every single night and we did that. We come to the playoffs, it was truly remarkable to see our guys work in every series, in every game, how we want to win games. I think this one for sure is the hardest one. We had like two months off, now we just won back to back, I don’t even know what to say. F---ing amazing.”
As so often happens with Maroon, he didn’t log a lot of ice time, playing just 8:35 in the game, with four shots on goal. He averaged just 9:24 for the postseason, with two goals and two assists in 23 games.
A year ago, when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in the Edmonton bubble, the team didn’t get the traditional day with the Stanley Cup.
“So what we’re hoping is getting two days with the Cup,” Maroon said, “back-to-back days because we missed our day last year, so NHL, wake up.”
While many players on the Lightning have won two Cups in a row, Maroon winning three stands out to his teammates.
“This is incredible,” said defenseman Ryan McDonagh. “Unbelievable.”