Sports

Hometown hero Maroon celebrates Stanley Cup family style

St. Louis Blues NHL hockey players Robert Bortuzo, left, Pat Maroon, center, and David Perron greet fans after arriving at the airport in St. Louis early Thursday, June 13, 2019. The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to win their first NHL championship Wednesday night in Boston.
St. Louis Blues NHL hockey players Robert Bortuzo, left, Pat Maroon, center, and David Perron greet fans after arriving at the airport in St. Louis early Thursday, June 13, 2019. The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to win their first NHL championship Wednesday night in Boston. Colter Peterson

Patrick Maroon lifting the Stanley Cup above his head in a St. Louis Blues uniform fulfilled a lifelong dream.

The moment didn't compare to holding the Cup just low enough for his son to kiss it. Maroon will be hailed as a hometown hero for signing with the Blues and helping them win their first championship, but what is most important to him was the chance to be around 10-year-old son Anthony and celebrate with him.

"This is truly something I'll never forget," Maroon said. "Me and my son will take this to our grave, and we'll have memories for life."

The Maroons on Saturday will get the chance to ride in the first Blues championship parade, the culmination of Maroon's gamble on himself to take less money and a one-year deal to be around his family.

Patti Maroon was almost speechless at the sight of her youngest son holding the Stanley Cup for her grandson to enjoy. It was a year full of ups and downs, from a horrendous start to the season to an 11-game winning streak, the chance to play in Anthony's father/son game and the death of his grandfather, Ernie.

Maroon hugged his grandfather on his deathbed just before the playoffs and told him he'd win the Stanley Cup for him. The chance to be around his family on the ice in Boston on Wednesday night with the Cup represented a brand new high.

"Something like I've never experienced in my life," Patti said. "It doesn't get better than this. All your dreams as a child and being in the NHL, to get this far, words can't even explain."

Maroon authored a signature moment of the championship run when he scored in double overtime of Game 7 in the second round against Dallas. Patti Maroon ranked that moment — Anthony cried when his dad scored — right up there with the Stanley Cup.

Now, about that Stanley Cup. It's a little different than the makeshift trophy Patrick, his brothers and their friends played for in Patti and Phil Maroon's basement in Oakville, just outside St. Louis.

Businesses on Telegraph Road there have been trumpeting messages like, "Congratulations hometown boy" or offering Maroon a free car wash. If Anthony has anything to say about it, Oakville's main street will host his dad's summer celebration.

"It feels great to have my dad win the first Stanley Cup that he's ever won," Anthony said. "He's going to bring it back on Telegraph Road, you know? ... I'm really proud of him."

Maroon's parents beamed with pride as he took the Cup from teammate Colton Parayko and wanted his son to touch it. He handed it to one of his brothers, too, because this has always been about family for Maroon.

"It's amazing," Maroon said. "Who wouldn't want it like that? Being from St. Louis and signing in St. Louis and winning the Stanley Cup and bringing it home and being with my family and friends."

Phil Maroon was there when his youngest son was drafted in 2007 in Columbus, when he made his NHL debut in 2011 in Chicago. A longtime season-ticket holder himself, Phil's thoughts raced back and forth between Patrick winning the Stanley Cup and that he did so for the city of St. Louis.

"Patrick has been dreaming of this his entire life," Phil said. "And he got the opportunity this year and the team came together as one and I couldn't be more happier for the St. Louis Blues organization and most importantly the St. Louis fans who have been waiting 49 years. My son, so surreal. This is unbelievable."

Maroon would always pretend to be Brett Hull in childhood basement games, but Hull had to go elsewhere to win the Stanley Cup. The same goes for Chris Pronger, and neither Adam Oates nor Keith Tkachuk ever won it.

Reminded that this Blues team did what 50 others in the franchise's history couldn't, Maroon flashed a big smile.

"We did it," Maroon said. "We did it. There's nothing else. We deserve this."

  Comments