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Pat Maroon practices with Bruins for first time, hopes to be in lineup next week

Pat Maroon gives update on his return after practicing with Bruins for first time
Pat Maroon gives update on his return after practicing with Bruins for first time 02:14

BOSTON -- There was a big rig barreling all over the ice at Bruins practice on Monday. Pat Maroon skated with his newest team for the first time, and hopes to make his Boston debut in the very near future.

After bumping bodies and chasing pucks for the first time in nearly three months, Maroon led the team's post-practice stretch on Monday. It's a sure sign that he is getting close to a return and donning a Spoked-B sweater for the first time in game action.

"It felt good," Maroon said after Monday's practice. "I had been lonely skating by myself so it felt good being back with the guys and getting in some battle drills, to feel a part of it. I'm just excited to be back. I'm close."

Maroon has been out for nearly 12 weeks after he underwent back surgery while with the Minnesota Wild. After such a long layoff, he would like to get into a game or two ahead of the playoffs to knock off any lingering rust. The Bruins have just seven games left before the end of the regular season on April 16.

"I would like to play a couple of games, for sure. That is the end goal, to play a couple of games before the playoffs," said Maroon "They've been really good with me and I can't thank the staff enough. They've been patient with me and doing all the right things to make sure I'm 100 percent and back to where I finished off. They have a plan for me and we're going to stick with that and progress each day."

Asked about a timetable, Maroon would just say "next week" for his return. Boston head coach Jim Montgomery said after practice that April 13 against Pittsburgh is the likeliest return for Maroon. 

"Guys that are veteran players, who have played in a lot of playoff games and know how to win, you'd like them to have those games. But it's not necessary," said Montgomery. "They know what it takes. They know their role. They relish their role and how to manage games. That's a big part of the reason we picked him up."

Maroon, who was acquired by the Bruins back on March 8 at the NHL trade deadline, had been skating on his own as he continued his recovery from back surgery. He was expected to be out about 2-3 weeks away from a return when the B's acquired him from the Minnesota Wild for a 2026 conditional sixth-round pick and forward Luke Toporowski, but Maroon's absence has obviously lingered a little longer.

Whenever he does get into the lineup, Maroon will bring a little more size to the ice for Boston. He's best known for his 6-foot-5, 234-pound frame, which the veteran likes to throw around to his advantage. Maroon has 778 regular-season games and another 150 games of playoff experience in the NHL, and three rings to show for it, winning a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues (in 2019 against Boston) and two with the Lightning (2020 and 2021).

Maroon had just four goals and 12 assists in 49 games for the Wild this season, and has just 30 points total (9 goals, 21 assists) over his last two seasons. But his addition will help the Bruins add some experience -- and a lot of bulk -- to their fourth line for the NHL playoffs.

"Trust me, I'm really excited," said Maroon. "I can't wait."

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