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Maruk played junior "A" hockey in the Ontario Hockey League for the London Knights before he was drafted in 1975 by the California Golden Seals. While with the Seals, he became the first NHL rookie to score five shorthanded goals in a season. Maruk followed the franchise when it relocated to Cleveland to become the Cleveland Barons a year later.
Maruk's rights were later obtained by the Minnesota North Stars after the Barons merged with them in 1978, but was traded shortly afterwards to the Washington Capitals. During his time with the Capitals, he scored 50 goals in 1980-1981 and 60 goals in 1981-1982; his mark of 76 assists and 136 points in the 1982 season remain Capitals' records for a single-season. Maruk was the first Capitals player to score 100 points in a season.
In 1982-1983, Maruk was one of the players instrumental in leading the Capitals to their first playoff appearance. Despite this, he was traded back to the Minnesota North Stars where he would finish his career. At the time of his retirement, he was the last active player who played for the Seals/Barons franchise. In 888 NHL games, he scored 356 goals and had 522 assists.