Jonathan Marchessault Provides Update on Golden Knights’ Contract Talks

Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault hasn't heard from the team before entering free agency.

Getty Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault hasn't heard from the team before entering free agency.

The Vegas Golden Knights are gambling regarding Jonathan Marchessault‘s future within or away from the organization.

Marchessault seemed to play the part and the proper role as he broke silence on Tuesday, May 28, speaking to reporters during the opening day of the World Series of Poker of all events, via Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“I did not have a call yet or anything,” Marchessault said on May 28. “They said they were interested to definitely re-sign me and we’ll see. Technically they have time until June 30, so we’ll see how it goes.”

The team has not contacted Marchessault regarding a new contract yet, with barely one month between May 28 and the start of free agency.

“The Golden Knights, they want to be good every year so they’re probably looking at all their options and probably checking what’s out there and we’ll see where it brings us,” Marchessault said.

The 33-year-old winger, who is coming off scoring a career-high 42 goals this season, made his intentions clear at the start of May when he said he wanted to stay put in Vegas.

“I’ve done everything I can to stay here,” Marchessault said on May 9, via Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Danny Webster.

Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon Wants Marchessault Back

Marchessault is a Day 1 member of the Vegas franchise following the addition of the team to the NHL. He has been a key player for the Golden Knights since joining the organization.

Marchessault put the cherry on top of his Vegas career in 2023 when he led the team to its first Stanley Cup while getting crowned the Conn Smythe trophy winner as the MVP of the playoffs.

Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon reasonably wants to re-sign one of his best players once Marchessault’s contract expires on June 30, or that’s what he said the last time he spoke at the end of the 2024 season.

“We really like the player, and his value extends beyond what you see on the ice,” McCrimmon said during Vegas’ end-of-season availability on May 7. “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. That’s what we’re going to work on.”

Despite McCrimmon’s comments, Marchessault said Vegas already delayed negotiations once, preferring to wait for the 2024 offseason to discuss an extension.

“I asked last summer,” Marchessault said. “I said I would rather do it in the summer before the season. They said they’re not ready to do that, and after there’s not even a single talk that I’ve had during the season.

“I don’t know. Technically, as an organization, you’ve signed a player for six years, right? So you have the full six years and after you can deal with it, so we’ll see.”

Per CapFriendly, Marchessault signed a six-year, $30 million deal with an average annual value of $5 million per season back in January 2018. The forward is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Vegas Golden Knights’ Ruthless Roster Construction

The Golden Knights are an interesting franchise in the NHL in how they handle off-ice and front-office issues.

Vegas has a history of making shrewd, deceiving, and ruthless roster moves. For example, you can look at their cap management regarding players placed on long-term injured reserve and trade deadline acquisitions.

After adding fellow forward Tomas Hertl and defenseman Noah Hanifin before this year’s trade deadline, and after handing Hanifin an eight-year, $7.35 AAV contract, Marchessault might be on his way out.

Draft in Las Vegas Forcing a Change of Strategy?

Kevin Allen of Vegas Hockey Now brought an interesting angle to the table on May 28 that could indirectly relate to how Vegas approaches Marchessault’s contract negotiations.

Allen thinks the Golden Knights, who hold the NHL draft in 2024 at the Sphere, might want to keep their first-round pick (No. 19 selection) and draft a forward with it to please the fans attending the event in the Las Vegas venue.

“This year, the draft will be in Las Vegas in the Sphere. Golden Knights management didn’t want their fans coming to the draft with nothing to do. That’s why they kept their first-round pick,” Allen wrote.

Allen points out that the Golden Knights have not focused much on drafting and developing players since they entered the league in the 2017-18 season.

“The Golden Knights use draft picks more like tradable commodities than a means to stock their roster,” Allen wrote. “GM Kelly McCrimmon prefers to use his draft picks or drafted prospects to acquire experienced players.”

By drafting a young player and moving on from Marchessault the Golden Knights would open valuable cap space to strengthen the team at other positions of need, or simply re-sign other players with expiring deals.

Along with Marchessault, the Golden Knights have other key pending free agents this summer including Anthony Mantha, Chandler Stephenson, William Carrier, Michael Amadio, and Pavel Dorofeyev at the forward position, and Alec Martinez on the blue line

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