3 Potential Destinations for Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault

The Hockey Writers

The Vegas Golden Knights have yet to offer Jonathan Marchessault a contract, and based on recent comments, the 33-year-old is becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of interest from his team. With the possibility of Marchessault hitting the open market becoming more likely every day, it’s worth speculating on what teams would have interest, and for what price.

By all accounts, Marchessault wants to return to the Golden Knights next season, but their current cap restrictions limit their ability to retain a good amount of their pending free agents. Considering the body of work he’s built up in Vegas over the past seven seasons he undoubtedly deserves a raise, but it might not be with the Golden Knights.

Montreal Canadiens

The hometown storyline is always a big part of free agency for aging players in the NHL. Being born in Cap-Rouge, Quebec, the Montreal Canadiens are one team that has been linked to Marchessault for this exact reason, whether there’s actual mutual interest or if it’s pure speculation.

Related: Golden Knights’ Free Agent Class Headlined by Jonathan Marchessault

All signs point to the fact that the Canadiens are going to be better next season, but in an extremely tough Atlantic Division, they’re anything but a lock to make the playoffs. If Marchessault wants to retire in his home province and pick a spot where he could make the most money, then this could be a good fit, but it’s unlikely he’ll compete for another Stanley Cup.

While this wouldn’t be the best option for Marchessault from a competitive standpoint, it would be extremely fun to watch. With Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, Juraj Slafkovsky, and Lane Hutson, there are a lot of young and talented offensive minds within the Canadiens’ roster. Adding Marchessault into the mix as a veteran scoring presence would be great for their overall development and would likely produce a ton of highlight-reel moments, while also giving the fanbase a homegrown player to cheer for.

Detroit Red Wings

If Marchessault is going to go back to the Atlantic Division, the Detroit Red Wings make much more sense.

For starters, the Red Wings are no strangers to bringing in veteran talent to bolster their offense. They signed a 34-year-old David Perron to a two-year deal in 2022, and also won the Patrick Kane sweepstakes in November 2023. The 2023-24 season proved that Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman isn’t going to be patient any longer in rebuilding this franchise, and if they want to add another Stanley Cup champion to a young group that’s on the rise, Marchessault could be the perfect fit.

Jonathan Marchessault Vegas Golden Knights
Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas Golden Knights (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

With Perron entering free agency at age 36 after a decline in offense this past season, the Red Wings are going to need another top-six winger. Even if he does decide to re-sign with Detroit, it’ll likely be in a lesser role. Kane’s future is also unknown, although he slotted in quite nicely on their second line and was great on the power play. If neither of them decides to stay, they can’t afford to take a step back.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have already had a major shakeup within their organization after parting ways with GM Don Waddell, and with 13 free agents to deal with this summer including Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas, Brady Skjei, and Brett Pesce, there are likely more changes to come.

Given the Hurricanes’ cap restrictions, Marchessault would likely sign a similar contract that he would be offered to stay with the Golden Knights. Although, that hypothetical contract doesn’t even seem to be in play for Kelly McCrimmon right now. The Hurricanes’ current core has been given multiple opportunities to get over the hump, and a veteran playoff performer like Marchessault could be what they need to give themselves an edge.

The Hurricanes have been in the hunt long enough that they’ve become a very attractive destination for a lot of free agents. If not for an incredible performance from Igor Shesterkin in the second round of this year’s playoffs, Carolina could’ve been in the conference final for a second consecutive season. Outside of Jake Guentzel, the Hurricanes haven’t had a game-breaking postseason contributor on their roster, and Marchessault’s timely goalscoring ability could add another layer of depth to their lineup.

Final Thoughts

The Golden Knights have historically taken the emotion out of managing their team. They’ve not compromised their cap structure to hold on to long-time fan favorites like Marc-André Fleury and Reilly Smith in the past, but letting their Conn Smythe Trophy winner walk away is another level of ruthlessness.

It’s unclear how the rest of the team feels about the lack of dialogue between management and Marchessault’s camp, but he’s undoubtedly a big part of the leadership group, and his absence would drastically change the culture of this team. Regardless if he stays with the team or not, Marchessault has already cemented himself as a legend for the franchise as an original Misfit and a Stanley Cup champion, and will always be remembered as a Golden Knight no matter where he ends up.

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