1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning’s Pat Maroon, a St. Louis hometown hero, gets his ring

Maroon helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season. On Tuesday night in St. Louis, they took what is usually a private ceremony and went public for a hometown hero.
Tampa Bay Lightning's Pat Maroon (14) is unable to score past St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Mackenzie MacEachern (28) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. [JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP]
Tampa Bay Lightning's Pat Maroon (14) is unable to score past St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Mackenzie MacEachern (28) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. [JEFF ROBERSON | AP]
Published Nov. 20, 2019
Updated Nov. 20, 2019

ST. LOUIS — The cheers for Pat Maroon drowned out the video to honor him. He may be the opponent now, but St. Louis still has love for the native who helped win the Stanley Cup.

The Blues held a small ceremony before Tuesday’s game against the Lightning to recognize Maroon and present him with his Stanley Cup ring.

Maroon held back emotions, heaving big breaths, as he watched the video highlighting his season with the Blues. It started with when he first reported to the team, saying “can you imagine” winning the Cup with his hometown team and ended with the parade celebration.

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: Steven Stamkos skips morning skate but stays in lineup against Blues

“It was very special. I didn’t think it was going to be like that,” Maroon said. “It was a good, warm welcome back for me and my family. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.”

A big smile broke across Maroon’s face as he tried on the giant ring adorned with a diamond-Cup and sapphire Blues logo. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong tapped Maroon to remind him to show the camera.

“Playing at home and doing something special always has a place in my heart,” Maroon said before the game. “It’s really exciting for me and my family.”

His father Phil Maroon watched from the box of Lightning fathers on the annual dads trip. His fiancé Francesca Vangel and son Anthony watched from just outside the boards. Francesca looked to be holding back tears n.

Armstrong called Maroon a few days before and told the forward they’d like to formally present him with his ring before the game. Typically, those exchanges happen in private earlier in the day. But the Blues made a point to offer some public recognition of the St. Louis native who scored a few key goals, including the Game 7-winner in double-overtime in the Western Conference Final.

“They didn’t have to do that ceremony for me and they did,” Maroon said. “Hats off to the fans for the applause. That was a really good standing ovation. Those are the Blues fans, very loyal.”

Fans started with a light applause for Maroon when he was shown during warmups. When he was recognized, the ovation demonstrated the obvious strong feelings between him, this team and this city. Even in the game, when Maroon was announced serving Andrei Vasilevskiy’s penalty, there was a cheer.

Watching his former teammates get their ring in a large ceremony and then raise the banner at the season opener had stung a bit for Maroon. His family was on hand to witness the celebration, but he had to watch it on TV from Tampa.

This was his chance to share that final celebration and take home the ultimate memento of a championship: the ring.

Asked before the game if he thought Maroon might tear up during the ceremony, coach Jon Cooper said before the game that he hoped he did.

“I think emotions are great,” Cooper said. “When they come out, you know what it shows. It shows that you care. I know the fans in St. Louis adore him.”

The coach also anticipated an array of emotions himself. Cooper and Maroon go all the way back to Texarkana Bandits in 2005. Maroon was a 16-year-old juniors rookie and Cooper was in his third season as a head coach.

They won the North American Hockey League championship in their second year together. Cooper said that, his first championship, helped him get to where he is now. He’s been watching Maroon fight through ups and downs to get to last year’s storybook ending.

“It’s going to be a great moment not only for him but also for us who have been a part of the journey along the way,” Cooper said.

Related: MORE LIGHTNING: Erik Cernak shows signs of a big NHL future

As special as this moment was for Maroon, it was only part of what made this trip home meaningful. When he was asked about returning to St. Louis, before any mention of the Cup, a ring or hockey, Maroon brought up his son.

He doesn’t get much time with the 11-year-old, living and working 1,000 miles away. For the eight seasons not spend with the Blues, Maroon has always looked forward to this trip for the chance to see Anthony.

This is a brief trip, Maroon was only in St. Louis for about 31 hours and much of that was spent sleeping and playing hockey.

“It’s tough,” he said. “You have eight hours, then he goes to school the next day. We have 25 minutes after the game. Is that what we get? Seeing his face, seeing his smile, that’s the most important thing. It’s not a lot but it’s something.”

And it was a little more to have Anthony on hand for Tuesday’s ceremony.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at Follow @dianacnearhos.


  1. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrate after he beats Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill (31) to score the first goal of the game during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Lightning forward has hovered just below 20 goals for years and finally reached the mark Friday.
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) leads the celebration as players contratulate right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) after he beat Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) to tie the game 3-3 in the final moments during third period action at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 in Tampa. The Lightning went on to win 4 to 3 in the shootout.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay went from sixth place in the Atlantic Division to second behind a 10-game win streak.
  3. Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) gets beaten by a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov (86) as Lightning's Steven Stamkos (91) looks on during first-period NHL hockey game action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. [JOHN WOODS  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay pours on the goals with seven total, including two from Nikita Kucherov.
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn (2) celebrates his goal, the first of the game, along with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) and center Tyler Johnson (9) beating New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) during first period action at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Tampa Bay also reassigned Alex Volkov to AHL Syracuse as Pat Maroon returned to the lineup.
  5. Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise (11) tries to control the puck the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning's Jan Rutta (44) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. [HANNAH FOSLIEN  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay falls off a recent trend of strong defense and lets Minnesota dictate the game.
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper watches from the bench as his team plays against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. [HANNAH FOSLIEN  |  AP]
    Even if the play is erased by an earlier offsides, the penalty still must be served.
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) in the tunnel before heading out to the ice for warms ups before taking on the New York Rangers at Amalie Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Tampa.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Playing in Minnesota is special for McDonagh, who grew up 12 miles from St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
  8. Canada's Geneviève Lacasse (31) blocks a shot by United States' Kendall Coyne Schofield (26) during the third period of a rivalry series women's hockey game in Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) [MICHAEL DWYER  |  AP]
    Teams representing the United States and Canada will play a 3-on-3 scrimmage as part of the festivities in St. Louis next week.
  9. TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 14: (Editor's Note: Image was digitally altered)  The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Los Angeles Kings fathers, brothers and mentors during the Kings' annual team trip at Amalie Arena on January 14, 2020 in Tampa. (Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson/NHLI via Getty Images) [CASEY BROOKE LAWSON  |  NHLI via Getty Images]
    The Kings are the latest team to bring their annual trip to Tampa. The Capitals and Senators have also done so this year.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Alexander Volkov (92) before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Kings. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Also, Kings’ Jonathan Quick takes a Steven Stamkos one-timer up high.