Historical evidence generally proves that basement-dwelling teams sell their pending free agents at the trade deadline for a premium to Stanley Cup contenders.
History will likely prove itself right once again this winter, as the Edmonton Oilers have an interesting trade chip on their hands in Patrick Maroon.
The 29-year-old pending unrestricted free agent is coming off a career-high 27 goals last season, largely influenced by playing on Connor McDavid's wing. Like the rest of his team, he's on to a much slower start offensively this season, with only 6 goals to his name. He is still on pace for a shade over 20 goals and 40 points, which is nothing to scoff at in today's NHL.
The combination of grit and offensive ability has always been highly-valued across the NHL, especially as the playoffs roll around.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman expects that Patrick Maroon will garner tons of interest around the NHL as the trade deadline looms ever closer, citing the St. Louis Blues as a team that will lead the way for his services.
Lyle Richardson of The Hockey News and Spector's Hockey believes that Maroon "could be their most likely trade candidate" - with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins being another clear choice to be moved.