Jonathan Marchessault gets brutally honest on Golden Knights future ahead of free agency

Jonathan Marchessault would have liked nothing more than to be thinking about his future after winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Vegas Golden Knights. But that dream is over after the Quebec native’s club was eliminated in Game 7 by the Dallas Stars in Round 1.
Jonathan Marchessault gets brutally honest on Golden Knights future ahead of free agency

Marchessault is still a Stanley Cup champion, and he’s fresh off one of the best seasons of his National Hockey League career. But the veteran is going to be due for a massive raise this summer, and that’s not going to be easy for a Knights team that is strapped tight to the salary cap.

“I want to be a Golden Knight for the rest of my life, but that’s not necessarily in my control,” the 30-year-old said at Vegas’ end-of-season media availability on Tuesday, according to The Athletic’s Jesse Granger.

Marchessault also admitted that he was constantly thinking about playing on an expiring contract during the season.

“I thought about it all year, to be honest,” he said, adding it had crossed his mind after Game 6 against the Stars that that could be his last home game at T-Mobile Arena, per Granger.

Without a doubt, it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Golden Knights to pay Marchessault what he’s worth. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after the six-year, $30 million contract he signed back in 2018 expires. And the 42-goal scorer is going to be due for a monster raise — a well-deserved one — with his next contract.

Marchessault was absolutely electric in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, along with Jack Eichel leading the offensive charge as the NHL’s second-newest franchise won its inaugural championship. The French-Canadian was a catalyst of the Cup run, scoring a postseason-high 13 goals and 25 points in just 22 games en route to the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

And he continued to elevate his play this season, setting a career-high with 42 goals and potting 69 points over a full 82-game slate. No longer is Marchessault just a top-six forward; he’s a bonafide top-line game-breaker with an impressive playoff resume.

Jonathan Marchessault has emerged into a top-tier forward in the NHL

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Jonathan Marchessault (81) skates against the Dallas Stars during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Marchesasult was one of the original ‘Golden Misfits,’ being selected in the expansion draft ahead of the 2017-18 campaign. He posted career numbers that year as the Knights went on a cinderella run to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

And five years later, he helped Vegas get the job done, beating the Florida Panthers in five games to bring a title to the strip inn 2023.

The reality is, the Golden Knights’ front office is going to have a very difficult time giving this player the money he deserves. That’s especially true with Noah Hanifin, Tomas Hertl and Anthony Mantha all now in the equation.

But Marchesasult told reporters he met with general manager Kelly McCrimmon on Tuesday morning, and both sides made it clear that they desire a long-term partnership.

That will be easier said than done, and the future of Jonathan Marchessault will be one of the top storylines to watch this summer.

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