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Marchessault’s Low Mileage A Draw For Vegas And Other Suitors

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As we all know by now, Jonathan Marchessault was a late bloomer. He dressed for just four NHL games before the age of 25 and didn’t hit the 70-game mark in a season until he turned 26. It was probably a frustrating journey. Well, maybe up until his 30-goal breakout season in Florida which captured the eyes of the Golden Knights. Since then, it’s been gravy for Marchessault. He’s become a fan favorite, a 40-goal scorer, a Conn Smythe winner, and a household name.

Now, it’s time for the player, his agent, and the Golden Knights front office to decide on the future. Sure, Marchessault is 33 years old and coming off his best season as a pro, so it’s reasonable to be concerned with his age, term, and future value. If Vegas uses a traditional evaluation they would likely pass and let the player walk. However, if they factor in intangibles such as character, leadership, and career usage, then re-signing Marchessault should be the first decision made this offseason.

Don’t forget he didn’t become an NHL regular until he was 27. There’s an argument to be made that the mileage on him is not as great as the mileage on other 34-year-olds. I’ve heard that they were really having a difficult to time to find a term. –Eliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

Unlike most, Marchessault has seen much less wear and tear than the average 33-year-old NHL player. For example, Jordan Eberle was born in 1990 and has played 380 more games than his fellow millennial. Sure, Eberle was a coveted prospect and a rookie by age 20 but he has fewer postseason games, goals, points, and hardware than Marchessault. He may have more NHL service, but he hasn’t impacted the league like Marchessault has. And in 38% less ice time.

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Everything That Was Said About Jonathan Marchessault At Locker Cleanup Day

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At the final media session for the year for the Golden Knights, everyone said the right things about pending UFA Jonathan Marchessault’s place within the organization. Now, it’s up to the team to take action to keep him here.

Here’s everything that was said about his situation from Marchessault himself, Bruce Cassidy, Kelly McCrimmon, and a bunch of his teammates.

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 along the years. I’m pretty confident. I would love to stay, it’s my home. I’ve been part of the group of guys that started this. It’s the most proud thing I’ve done in my life professionally for sure. I’m just happy to be a Golden Knight and I want to be one the rest of my life but that’s not necessarily in my control. 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. -Jonathan Marchessault

I had a real good meeting with Marchy this morning. We talked with his representatives. Marchy is an original, he’s a core player, and he had a career year. So he’s done everything humanly possible to put himself in a good position. We really like the player and his value extends beyond what you see on the ice. He’s a really important leader and an important guy in our dressing room. There’s certainly a strong willingness from both sides to have real good discussions. That’s what we’re going to work on. With that said we’re not going to comment on the ongoing commentary of how it’s going or that type of thing, we’ll work diligently and see where we get to. -Kelly McCrimmon

I don’t know when it will happen. I talked to Kelly this morning and he wants me back, he likes me. And obviously the feeling is mutual. I love Vegas, I love my teammates, I love the organization, the coaching staff, all the staff working with us, they are family to me now. I could have had a rough season after doing everything we’ve done as a team and personally, but I had a good one still. So it just shows I left it all out there and things will happen I guess, we will see. -Marchessault

I love coaching Jonathan Marchessault. The progression we’ve made might be one of the best ones I’ve enjoyed from where we started to where we ended up. We started with how will we prepare for games, how will we practice, what do I need out of you, 200-foot player, what does he need, the back-and-forth, we’re both emotional. And then we win the Stanley Cup, he wins the Conn Smythe, he has a career year. For me, those are all rewarding things as a coach to see a player go through and you feel like you’ve done your small part as a coach when that happens. I enjoy my relationship with him talking honestly and openly. I love his energy around the room. He’s had great years as a Golden Knights. I can’t say enough good things about him. As a coach, you hope you can keep everybody together, him included. That’s between his party and Crim to try to get something done. I know the situation he’s in, we’ve got four or five of those guys. That’s my experience from day one til now. Love coaching the guy. Terrific guy for the room. When you see a relationship develop like that it’s nice. I’ve had it with other players where we become a little closer than some other guys, that you end up interacting with more for whatever reason. That’s how it went with Marchy. We’ll see how it leads. -Bruce Cassidy

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Above, Below, or Meeting Expectations: Far Too Many Golden Knights Fall Into The Wrong Category

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

The Golden Knights are defending Stanley Cup champions.

For the last 11 months here at we’ve used that sentence to start just about every article, literally every podcast, and everywhere else possible. Tonight might be the last time we get to use it.

That is unless the Golden Knights get improved performances from a bunch of players in Game 6 and 7.

Being the reigning champions, and bringing back a roster that is similar, if not improved on paper, means Vegas doesn’t need anyone to exceed expectations. Instead, they simply need everyone to play to their ability and they should once again be the best team in the NHL.

Through 5 games in this first round series against the Stars, that is not happening. More than half of the roster is falling short of their expectations, while just a few are exceeding them.

To illustrate this, I’ve broken the team down into those three categories, exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, or below expectations. For the Golden Knights to retain their title as defending Stanley Cup champions for even one more day, a bunch of players are going to have to take a step up from the category they’ve resided in currently in this series to at least one step higher.

**These are listed in order. For “exceeding,” first is the player most exceeding their expectation. For “meeting,” first is the player closest to exceeding, last is the player closest to below. For “below,” first is the player closest to meeting, last is the player below by the most.

Exceeding Expectations
Brayden McNabb, Logan Thompson, William Carrier

There’s a legitimate argument that Brayden McNabb has been VGK’s best player in this series. If you told me that was going to be the case coming in, I’d be certain the Golden Knights are behind in the series, and that’s exactly where they are. He’s been offensively involved and even better than his already high level defensively.

Thompson and Carrier are in a similar spot as both have been very good but their best moments have come in losing efforts so they get lost a bit. Thompson was out of control good in Game 3, but the team was so bad it didn’t end up making a difference. Carrier scored a wraparound goal on a wonderful individual effort, but the game-tying 1st period goal was the last Vegas scored.

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It’s Time For Vegas’ Best Game

From ESPN broadcast

It’s time.

It’s time for Mark Stone. It’s time for Alex Pietrangelo. It’s time for Chandler Stephenson and Jonathan Marchessault and Shea Theodore and William Karlsson. It’s time for the roster littered with Stanley Cup rings. It’s time for the team that went all-in at the deadline. It’s time for the lineup so stacked it’s drawn the wrath of the NHL world.

Everything is in place. Now, the players have to do it.

The front office has restocked the team to give them every chance under the sun possible to repeat. The coach has presented them with a plan that has proven to work. He subsequently pressed all the buttons at the same time to see if he could shock the system.

In this series and especially in the last three games, Vegas’ best players have not been good enough. Stone, Hertl, and Stephenson have not been on the ice for a single 5-on-5 goal. Karlsson has been out there for just one. Marchessault hasn’t come through with a clutch  late-game goal. And let’s not even get started about whatever is going on with Alex Pietrangelo.

Simply put, based on the analytics, the Golden Knights are fortunate to still have a chance to rescue their title defending season.

They can’t wait any longer and the task is as tall as it’s ever been.

They’ll face their first elimination game since 2021 and have to beat a team (and goalie) brimming with confidence. Then, they’ll have to break Pete DeBoer’s perfect 7-0 record in Game 7’s.

But if there’s anyone that can do it, it’s the Golden Knights.

We’ve seen it, literally just seven days ago the reigning champions were the favorites to win the Western Conference. They’ve shown the ability to lock down the Dallas Stars powerful offense. They’ve shown the strength to hold the puck in the offensive zone and wear down a 5-man defense unit. And they’ve been able to break one of the better goalies in the league.

It’s going to take Vegas’ best game and then an even better game after it. And it’s going to take a great performance from the captain, a controlled one from their first alternate, and a step forward by the Conn Smythe, the trade deadline acquisitions, and the rest of the depth of the team.

There’s only one way forward and it all rests on the shoulders of the players. No more excuses.

Time to rise up like the champions.

Team Defense Helped Make A 15 Shot Offensive Effort Look Like Plenty

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

For the first time in a long time, the Golden Knights looked like the real Golden Knights while protecting a lead. At their best, as they were en route to winning 16 of 22 playoff games a year ago and hoisting the Stanley Cup, Vegas is a lockdown defensive team that makes it impossible on opponents to generate scoring chances. This regular season though, they never quite returned to being that style of team with any consistency.

In the 1st period, the struggles continued. Despite having a keen understanding on exactly what the Dallas Stars are trying to accomplish, VGK couldn’t quite settle in defensively early.

The goals that we let in, that’s part of their strength. It was rush goals. It’s just being aware and being on top of certain guys. It’s something that we can fix next game, being aware of who we’re up against on the ice. There’s a reason why they’re first in the league on rush chances. It’s up to us to be aware and be above everybody. When they miss their chances, we know we have to bring it up quick. It’s on wingers and centers to show early options and be able to transition quick. -Jonathan Marchessault

Dallas generated five high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in the 1st period, scored two goals that counted and another that was ruled off by an offside challenge.

The good news for the Golden Knights was that they were able to exit that period with the lead and eventually extend it early in the 2nd. That allowed them to get back to their true identity that made them a Stanley Cup champion, which is defending.

They’re as advertised. A good team, obviously the additions make a difference for them for sure. If you’re going to knock off the Stanley Cup Champions, then you’re going to have to bring your A-game every night. Tonight, we did some decent things and did some things well, but we were chasing the game the whole night from the first shot of the game on. Tough to play from behind against that team. You can’t chase the game the whole series. We were chasing the game all night, and we’ve got to fix that going forward. -DeBoer

The Golden Knights generated just five shots in 39 minutes of hockey after they grabbed a 4-2 lead, but they were able to make the lead hold up due to their defending.

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Thursday Should Be Jonathan Marchessault Appreciation Night

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

While tomorrow concludes the Golden Knights regular season and fan appreciation week, it feels like it’s missing something. Instead of just honoring the fans, tomorrow should be Jonathan Marchessault appreciation night as well. On Thursday, the 2017-18 Original Misfit may be playing his final regular season game as a Golden Knight. Without a signed extension, the 2023 Conn Smythe winner will skate into the postseason as an unrestricted free agent. Unfortunately for VGK fans, Marchessault’s magnificent season will likely field plenty of interest.

So, tomorrow is a chance fans can show their admiration and affection for their favorite award-winning, crowd pleasing, lamp-lighting Original Misfit.

We’ve gone over the numbers many times. The Golden Knights salary cap is tight. Of course, the dream scenario would be if both parties agree on a fair deal. However, a team friendly contract with Marchessault is unlikely. His offensive capabilities are valuable to any NHL team and most pay handsomely. The eleven year veteran should take advantage of the opportunity he worked hard to earn. Especially, if he hasn’t received an appealing offer by the VGK’s front office.

Here’s a quick reminder of some of Marchessault’s accomplishments as a Golden Knight.

Golden Knights Team Records

  • Games Played – 1st – 514
  • Goals – 1st – 192
  • Assists – 1st – 225
  • Even Goals – 1st – 150
  • Power Play Goals – 1st – 42
  • Game Winning Goals – 1st – 32
  • Shots On Goal – 1st – 1,698
  • Hat Tricks – 1st – 5

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Mr. Clutch Comes Through Again For The Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights need a goal, there’s one man to turn to, and Vegas turned to him last night in overtime to secure a huge extra point.

That man is Jonathan Marchessault, and this season he leads the Golden Knights with 28 goals when the score is within one. That’s 10 more than the closest trailing player, Jack Eichel, and more than any two other players not named Eichel combined.

Though last night’s heroic game-winner game in overtime, Marchessault has done a ton of his damage this year with Vegas trailing by a goal. #81 has netted the game-tying goal on ten separate occasions this season, more often than Mark Stone, Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, and Ivan Barbashev combined.

It’s not a new phenomenon for the feisty forward either. In last years postseason, Marchessault tied the game four times, had eight points when the team was down exactly one goal, and potted 11 goals with the score within one goal either way.

It’s hard to measure clutch in any sport and hockey is no different, but there’s no denying Marchessault has the gene that allows him to rise to the occasion in the biggest moments. These are the massive goals he’s scored, just in the last 12 months.

March 25th, 2024 – OT goal at STL
March 12th, 2024 – Game-tying goal at SEA with :17 in the 3rd
March 9th, 2024 – Go-ahead goal at DET with 2:44 in 3rd (also scored empty net goal for hat trick)
January 20th, 2024 – 1st VGK goal of the game in 3rd period to key 2-0 comeback vsPIT
December 10th, 2023 – Shootout winner vs SJS
June 8th, 2023 – Go-ahead goal in 2nd period of Stanley Cup Final Game 3 at FLA
June 3rd, 2023 – VGK’s 1st goal of Stanley Cup Final vs FLA (tied game at 1 in 1st period)
May 25th, 2023 – Go-ahead 2nd period goal in Western Conference Final Game 4
May 23rd, 2023 – VGK’s 1st goal in Western Conference Final Game 3
May 21st, 2023 – Game-tying goal in 3rd period in Western Conference Final Game 2 with 2:22 left
May 14th, 2023 – Natural hat trick in 2nd period of Round 2 Game 6 to eliminate EDM
May 8th, 2023 – Game-tying and go-ahead goals in 1st period of Round 2 Game 3 vs EDM

129 of Marchessault’s 189 career goals with the Golden Knights have either tied the game, given Vegas the lead, or extended VGK’s lead to two goals. In other words, 68% of Marchessault’s goals have been majorly influential in the game.

Some time in the next couple weeks he’s going to hit 40 for the first time in his career and it’s highly probable he breaks William Karlsson’s VGK franchise record of 43 goals in a season as well. When he does, you can bank on them being massive goals too.

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