Comments / New

Marchessault to hit the open market, per report

It’s the end of an era.

Jonathan Marchessault will hit the open market on Monday morning after he and the Vegas Golden Knights were unable to come to terms on an extension, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

General manager Kelly McCrimmon met with Marchessault’s agent at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft over the weekend. When asked about Marchessault after the conclusion of the draft, McCrimmon was reluctant to discuss the matter, instead deferring his comment until Monday. “We’ll talk about free agency, I’m gonna see [the media] again on Monday, so we’ll talk about that at that time.”

But it seems the fate of the Original Misfit has been sealed, and it does not include a happy ending in Sin City.

Marchessault won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2023 after scoring 13 goals and 25 points in 22 games to help the Golden Knights win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

He scored 15 goals in his final 13 games and finished the playoffs on a 10-game point streak, the longest in franchise history and the longest of the 2023 postseason. During that stretch, Marchessault tallied eight goals and 15 points.

He scored three game-winning goals and led all players with 19 even-strength points.

Marchessault followed that up with a career-high 42 goals this past season, finishing the year with 69 points in 82 games. He scored two goals and four points in Vegas’ first-round series against Dallas.

Marchessault is the franchise leader in goals (192), assists (225), points (417), power-play goals (42), power-play points (103), overtime goals (nine), game-winning goals (32) and shots (1,708).

He also leads the franchise in playoff goals (36), playoff points (75) and playoff shots (325), and he is tied with Alex Tuch for the franchise lead in game-winning goals in the playoffs with six.

Needless to say, Marchessault has been an integral part of this organization since being selected in the 2017 expansion draft. He signed a six-year, $30 million extension in 2018, which is set to expire Monday morning.

Losing him is a massive blow to the Golden Knights.

Not only is he coming off a career season, but he has been a leader and one of the most consistent players, not to mention the most clutch player, over the last seven years.

The Golden Knights have made difficult choices in the past, like unceremoniously dumping Marc-Andre Fleury or sending Reilly Smith to Pittsburgh shortly after he helped Vegas lift the Cup. But it’s fair to say no one has meant more to this franchise than Marchessault.

Marchessault repeatedly expressed a strong desire to stay in Vegas.

“I’ve done everything I can to stay here. I know I’m a big part of this organization and team, and I’ve proven it,” he said on locker cleanout day. “I’m just happy to be a Golden Knight. I would like to be one for the rest of my life, but that’s not necessarily only in my control. I think it’s something my agent and Kelly are going to go through. I love it here. I want to stay here for sure, but we’ll see.”

At the time, McCrimmon said there was “certainly a strong willingness from both sides to have real good discussions.” He talked about the value that Marchessault brings to the table and said Marchessault had “done everything humanly possible to put himself in a good position.”

Obviously, it wasn’t enough.

One thing that was especially important to Marchessault was being in an organization that wanted him. He will have plenty of suitors in the open market, as most teams will recognize the extraordinary value he brings to the table.

But it appears Marchessault’s magical run with the Golden Knights has come to an end.

(Photo of Marchessault: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)