Original misfit Jonathan Marchessault has been one of the most consistent members of the Vegas Golden Knights since day one. Marchessault has been a key contributor with 175 goals and 213 assists in 482 games and chipped in 71 points in 95 playoff games for the Golden Knights. The 33-year-old won his first career Conn Smythe Trophy during last year’s Stanley Cup championship.
Original misfit Jonathan Marchessault does not have a contract extension in place for next season.
The Golden Knights drafted Marchessault during the 2017 NHL expansion draft from the Florida Panthers. Reilly Smith was also acquired from the Panthers during the NHL expansion draft for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick.
Smith, also a misfit from day one, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins 15 days after the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup to free up cap space to extend Ivan Barbashev. Barbashev received a five-year extension worth $5 million AAV. Smith had just completed the first year of his three-year extension with the Golden Knights worth $5 million AAV. Barbashev is four years younger than Smith.
Marchessault commented on his contract situation in an interview with TVA Sports last summer. “There are no negotiations that have been done. I know that sometimes the Golden Knights like to take their time with that. We will see what it will give.”
General Manager Kelly McCrimmon is taking his time with Marchessault, as Marchessault expected.
Is Marchessault ready for the possibility that this is his final season in Southern Nevada? “We have built something exceptional. But the life of a hockey player is never safe. That’s what keeps us humble and it’s possible [that the rest of my career] will be elsewhere.” Marchessault to TVA Sports.
Why is there not an extension in place for Marchessault?
There are many potential answers to why an extension is not in place. McCrimmon may have wanted to see how the season went before making an offer. If the Golden Knights were to fall out of playoff contention, McCrimmon would consider trading Marchessault before he left in free agency. Maybe discussions have taken place and the two sides have not been able to agree on terms. Both sides could have agreed to not discuss a contract extension until after the season is over to avoid distractions.
It is also fair to consider that Marchessault is not in the future plans for McCrimmon and the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights do have a history of moving on from aging players with high contracts.
Day one misfit Marc Andre Fleury was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks after a Vezina Trophy-winning season. Fleury was 36 years old at the time at had one year remaining on his contract worth $7 million AAV. Reilly Smith’s situation was outlined above.
Marchessault’s next contract
What is Marchessault worth and will he offer the Golden Knights a home-team discount? Marchessault could easily command a contract worth $6 million AAV. If Marchessault hits free agency, he may get greater than $6 million AAV. The NHL salary cap will go up $4.2 million next season which makes it easier for general managers to spend more on free agency.
Will the Golden Knights offer Marchessault a two or three-year extension worth $5 million to $6 million AAV? Those numbers and terms seem reasonable for a player who logs a point in 80% of his games for the Golden Knights.
Will McCrimmon make the offer and when will he do it? Or is McCrimmon looking for the next “Barbashev” type to replace Marchessault?