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story.lead_photo.caption Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

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Maroon's path to becoming Stanley Cup champion came through Texarkana

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After fulfilling a lifelong dream of winning the Stanley Cup this past season, Patrick Maroon will reunite with another former Texarkana Bandit Jon Cooper in Tampa Bay.

Maroon, who played in Texarkana as a 17-year-old in 2004-05 under Cooper, signed a one-year contract with the Lightning, which is also coached by Cooper. During his time in the Twin City, Maroon scored 60 points in 57 games and was named to the North American Hockey League All-Rookie Team.

The duo would eventually move with the team to St. Louis the following season and would go on to win the NAHL Robertson Cup in 2007, where Maroon was named the Most Valuable Player that season. His 23 points during that postseason run still stands as the league record.

Maroon, a St. Louis native, helped lead the Blues to the Stanley Cup last season, where he played in 74 regular-season games, netted 10 goals and finished with 28 points. He scored three goals in their postseason run, including a game-winner against the Dallas Stars in double overtime in Game 7.

"Winning the Stanley Cup was a dream come true," Maroon told the Gazette during his July visit to Texarkana. "I dreamt of it as a kid growing up. When I made it to the NHL, it was the peak of my career. Now that I have won it, I want to win more. It's an honor to win the Stanley Cup. To do it in front of my family and my fianceé's family was truly amazing."

Cooper has a franchise-best 305-159 career record as Tampa Bay's coach and is the longest-tenured coach in the NHL, according to the league's website.

The Lightning will begin their season on Oct. 3 against the Florida Panthers.

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