Golden Knights: Is Marchessault in His Final Days as a Vegas Golden Knight?

Make no mistake about it, the heartbeat of the Vegas Golden Knights is Jonathan Marchessault. The soon to be unrestricted free agent might just be entering the prime of his career at age 33. The original misfit registered a career second-best 69 points and a career-best 42 goals during the 2023-24 regular season.

Golden Knights: Is Marchessault in His Final Days as a Vegas Golden Knight?

Did I mention that Marchessault is a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent?

Marchessault is in the final two months of a six year, $30 million contract. Here is what Marchessault had to say about his contract situation.

“I’ve done everything I can to stay here,” Marchessault said during the team’s locker cleanout day. “I’m pretty confident (to remain with the Golden Knights).”

There is no doubt Marchessault did everything he could do on the ice to remain a Golden Knight. It is fair to assume the Golden Knights could have missed the playoffs if Marchessault did not have a 42-goal season.

We do not know to what extent the Golden Knights and Marchessault have tried to hammer out a new deal. Marchessault’s contract situation was on his mind all year.

“I thought about it all year, to be honest.” Marchessault when asked about his expiring contract.

Marchessault Knew Last August VGK Would Not be in a Hurry to Negotiate an Extension

Marchessault is a veteran who knows very well how the business of the NHL works. He has also seen fan favorites Marc-Andre Fleury and Reilly Smith traded away during his time in Vegas.

“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.” Marchessault to TVA Sports in August of 2023. “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.”

Where Does Kelly McCrimmon Stand on Extending Marchessault?

It has always been the policy of the McCrimmon and the Golden Knights not to publicly comment on contract negations. Marchessault mentioned there was a mutual interest between himself and McCrimmon to remain with the Golden Knights. But Marchessault also indicated that the future is uncertain.

“I want to be a Golden Knight for the rest of my life.” Marchessault during locker cleanout day. “But that’s not necessarily in my control.”

Marchessault’s Next Contract

It is fair to assume the 33-year-old soon to be unrestricted free agent’s value increased during the 2023-24 regular season. That only complicates things for the Golden Knights. Did McCrimmon make a costly mistake by not to lock up Marchessault to an extension before the 2023-24 season?

Marchessault, Anthony Mantha, Chandler Stephenson, William Carrier, Michael Amadio, and Alec Martinez are unrestricted free agents as of July 1. Pavel Dorofeyev is a restricted free agent.

The Golden Knights have approximately $7.5 million in available cap space to utilize for the 2023-24 season. There are many teams that would offer a contract in the $7.5 million AAV range. Trading a player such as Shea Theodore ($5.2 million AAV) could free up salary cap space to extend Marchessault and some of other free agents.

It would be a win for McCrimmon and the Golden Knights if they can lock up Marchessault for an extension in the three to four range for $7 million AAV. Is McCrimmon willing to get in a bidding war for Marchessault’s services?

If Marchessault makes it to July 1 without a contract from the Golden Knights, the chances of him being a Golden Knight next season are slim.

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