Pat Maroon is the best offensive player on the Adirondack Phantoms. Well, we should probably say that Maroon was the leading scorer and the best offensive player on the Phantoms, because as of last night, he is no longer a member of the team.
As reported by Tim McManus of the Glens Falls Post-Star:
According to Adirondack coach Greg Gilbert, leading scorer Patrick Maroon is "no longer with the team, pending assignment by the organization."
Gilbert wouldn’t comment on whether a specific incident sparked the dismissal. Asked if Maroon would return, Gilbert repeated the statement about re-assignment.
The Phantoms aren't saying a damn thing about any of this. The coach won't spill any details, the players, including captain Dan Jancevski, won't spill any details. Nobody can get Maroon's agent, Allain Roy, on the phone, as he's in Europe until Wednesday.
It's not a perfect comparison since you can't just "re-assign" a player in the NHL, but this is essentially like if the Flyers were to throw Danny Briere on waivers without explanation. He's their leading scorer and they'd be losing him for nothing, without any explanation to the paying customers why it's happening. It makes no sense.
Let's take a look at all of the wild questions that surround this wild, confusing situation.
1. Why was Maroon kicked off the team?
Obviously, this is the big question. You don't just throw your leading scorer out of the locker room and off the team without some serious reason, of course. As McManus reports, though, Maroon was having a nice start to the season, despite how badly the team as a whole has looked, and he's seemingly been working hard at his game.
So what could the reason be? The Phantoms won't budge, but Jancevski does sort of allude that it could be a locker room issue by saying it will "stay in the dressing room." It seems a little petty to kick a guy off the team for just having a bad attitude or something, doesn't it?
We're not going to speculate on what happened because that's irresponsible, but it clearly had to be something serious. If only the Phantoms would tell us what happened...
2. Does this have anything to do with Paul Holmgren's presence in Glens Falls on Friday?
Again, McManus reports that Holmgren and Assistant GM John Paddock were both in Glens Falls on Friday night to watch the game. That's weird -- the Flyers had a game of their own in Pittsburgh. Why the need for the special trip? My gut tells me that this isn't a coincidence, but since nobody is commenting on the subject, we don't know for sure, do we?
3. Will he ever be back within the Flyers organization?
This seems unlikely, but again, we don't know. He has an NHL contract. Do the Flyers still own his NHL rights? Will he ever play for the Flyers, even if he's playing for a different AHL team?
We do know that Paddock met with Peter Laviolette at the Skate Zone on Thursday for about a half hour, and seeing as Paddock is the main guy who oversees the Phantoms and the Flyers prospects, we might be able to assume it had something to do with Maroon. What exactly does that mean? Well, again, more unanswered questions.
4. Is this a trend with the Phantoms?
As Tim points out, this isn't the first time a Phantoms player has been dismissed from the team. It happened with AHL vets Lukas Kaspar and Jason Ward last season as well. It may not have been as serious in those situations, at least because those players don't hold the same position in the Flyers organization as Maroon does (or did), but this isn't the first time this has happened with this organization and this team in Adirondack. That seems important to mention.
We stand now, just a few hours after this whole thing went down, with a lot of questions and nobody willing to answer them. That's not fair to us as Flyers fans, and it's certainly not fair to the paying fans in Glens Falls who already have to suffer through watching a terrible hockey team take the ice every night.
We all deserve an explanation. Who's going to give it?