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FSM Feature: Golden Knights Offseason Questions – Johnathan Marchessault Bonus Game Notes

Franchise Sports Media

 

The Golden Knights off-season has started with some big questions that need to be answered, none more significant than what to do with Jonathan Marchessault. Will the Golden Knights keep or let him walk as a free agent?

 

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The Golden Knights offseason will have quite a few questions that need to be figured out after an early exit from the NHL Playoffs.

There were a variety of reasons why this season didn’t end with the same result as last year. Injuries and chemistry were the main issues for VGK all season.

Tomas Hertl and Mark Stone, two critical players to the Vegas repeat hopes, had never played together before the postseason.

Hertl was injured when the Golden Knights acquired him from the San Jose Sharks. He played six games in a Vegas jersey before the playoffs began, and most of those games were used to shake off the rust.

Stone had not played for 62 days when he and Hertl played together for the first time.

To make matters worse, Alex Pietrangelo, a crucial part of last year’s Stanley Cup success, had played two games in 40 days when the NHL Playoffs started. That was due to complications from an appendectomy, which was on top of a previous injury that kept Pietrangelo out of competition for too long.

 

Will the Golden Knights find a way to keep Jonathan Marchessault?

 

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This is the biggest question this Golden Knights offseason question.

When the Golden Knights traded for Noah Hanifin and Hertl, the writing was on the wall, even if some didn’t want to accept it. VGK fans had to listen to what was not being said.

Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon gave up a top prospect, David Edstrom (2023 first-rounder), plus a 2025 first-round pick for Hertl and two third-round picks (2025 and 2027). The cost for Hanifin was a 2026 first-round pick and a 2025 third-round pick, plus defenseman Daniil Miromanov.

The added cost was when Hanifin signed a contract extension. Many have speculated that will spell the end for Marchessault, an original Golden Knight.

After those trades and the Hanifin extension, the Vegas Golden Knights have roughly $900,000 remaining cap space for next season with three roster openings. Presuming Robin Lehner stays on long-term injured reserve, they have an added $5 million.

That means the Golden Knights’ offseason plans won’t include keeping many of their unrestricted free agents this summer.

 

Coming off a career-high goal season, Marchessault is looking to get paid more than the Golden Knights can afford.

 

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With a career-high 42 goals this season, it is projected that Marchessault would receive a three-year deal on the open market with an average salary of around $6.2 million.

I’ve done everything I can to stay here,Marchessault said. “I know I’m a big part of that organization. I’ve proved it along the years. I would love to stay. It’s my home. I’ve been part of the guys that we started this with. It’s the most proud thing I’ve done in my life, professionally, for sure. I’m happy to be a Golden Knight. I would like to be the rest of my life, but it’s not necessarily in my control.

Marchessault said he spoke with McCrimmon and that the Golden Knights want to bring him back. It’s difficult to see how that deal gets done unless McCrimmon is willing to move other vital players to open up salary cap space.

He had a career year, so he’s done everything possible to put himself in a good position,” McCrimmon said. “We really like the player, and his value extends beyond what you see on the ice. He’s an important guy in our dressing room, so there’s certainly a real strong willingness from both sides to have real good discussions.

To accommodate their current salary cap outlook, the Golden Knights would have to trade goalie Adin Hill (who makes $4.9 million), defenseman Shea Theodore (who makes $5 million), or let Chandler Stephenson walk as a free agent.

Marchessault is 33 and popular with the fan base, but he seems unlikely to return. McCrimmon made that decision when he acquired Hanifin and Hertl. While it isn’t the choice fans would make, it is the right choice for the long term. It is vital for the team’s success to let him walk. They need depth and can’t have a team full of high-priced stars with poor depth behind them.

George McPhee and McCrimmon have always prioritized the Golden Knights’ success over making fans feel good. In the Marc-André Fleury situation, they didn’t care about how the fanbase felt about trading away their star goalie. They did what they felt was best for the team, and they are poised to do so once again this offseason.

 

Get all your Golden Knights offseason coverage right here at FSM. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @joearrigofsm

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