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Cooking With Karlsson, Marchessault, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Today, we step away from hockey for a moment and focus on something much more important, food.

During a trip to Seattle last season, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault visited former VGK Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s house and joined Hannah Bellemare’s YouTube cooking show. On the show, Karlsson “helps” Mrs. Bellemare cook his favorite dish from Sweden, panerad torsk.

It’s essentially the Swedish version of fish and chips. (But don’t Google Swedish fish and chips, all you get are pictures of the little red candy next to French fries, it’s infuriating.) They then make Marchessault’s favorite dish, Oreo ice cream.

Over the course of the video we learn a lot about William, Jonathan, and Pierre-Edouard.

  • William is not much of a chef. He shares that he hasn’t cooked in nearly two years.
  • Pierre-Edouard has picked up an affinity for baking sourdough bread.
  • Jonathan loves poutine and Montreal smoked meat sandwiches.
  • According to Pierre-Edouard, parents from Europe get hit hard by germs their American kids bring home because they are not immune to them like those who grew up here are.
  • William calls Jonathan, Monsieur Marchessault.
  • Jonathan tells a story of Karlsson creating a burger in which he put all the condiments on the bun but he forgot the patty. Luckily, William Carrier ate it.
  • Pierre-Edouard was unaware that Oreos are chocolate.
  • Jonathan eats salad, salmon, and rice (all in one bowl) for pregame meal.
  • William once, or twice, put a boiled egg in his spaghetti because Jonathan told him he needs to eat more protein. This upset Jonathan.

It’s quite a fun watch. Check it out.

 

Salary Projections For Golden Knights Heading Towards Free Agency

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Money is tight in VGK land this summer. After taking a big run at repeating as Cup champions, the Golden Knights have already allocated about 90% of their salary cap to players for next season.

The midseason acquisitions of Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl will likely serve as Vegas’ big splashes heading into next season. Figuring out which of the expiring contracts to spend the rest of the money on will tell the rest of the story.

Vegas have six significant pending unrestricted free agents and one key RFA with arbitration rights. They have about $7.4 million of cap space (read our salary cap primer) to work with to keep as many, or as few, of them as they choose. So the question becomes, how much will it cost to keep each guy?

Lucky for us, much of the guessing game has already been done by the brilliant consulting firm, AFP Analytics. Using past contracts as a guide, they’ve come up with a projected contract for every player in the NHL currently without a contract.

Here’s what they project for each VGK free agent. Each is followed by a little blurb by me about the player’s situation as it relates to the Golden Knights.

**Take a look at the full spreadsheet of projected contracts here. And be sure to follow @AFPAnayltics on X/Twitter.**

Jonathan Marchessault
AFP Analytics Projected Contract: 3 years at $6.285m AAV
Comps: Joe Pavelski (3 years, $7m), Alex Killorn (4 years, $6.25m), Jordan Eberle (2 years, $4.75m)

The kingpin of the offseason was always likely to take up a majority of the Golden Knights’ available space. The hope for VGK is that he and the team will be able to come up with a friendly deal that will fulfill his wish to remain in Las Vegas for the rest of his career. Before the career-high 42-goal season, Killorn was an excellent comparison. Now, Marchessault stands as a unicorn as a recent Conn Smythe winner set to hit the open market. There’s a reasonable argument for Marchessault to reach as high as $9 million, while it’s also fair to look at the Eberle contract and project him for less than $5 million. Term, age, and his incredible standing with the organization make this one nearly impossible to project, but it’s pretty clear to see, if he’s going to stay in Vegas, just about everyone else set to hit the market will have to go.

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Rebuilding Forward Depth Imperative In VGK Offseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As the NHL playoffs roll on, scoring depth has continued to prove paramount for the teams still alive. Golden Knights nemesis Barclay Goodrow has been crucial in helping the Rangers take the lead in the Eastern Conference Final while Connor Brown, Sam Steel, and former VGK Evgenii Dadonov have come up with key points in the Dallas/Edmonton series.

When the Golden Knights walked off the ice after Game 7 in Dallas they did so with arguably the deepest group of forwards in franchise history. There’s quite a bit of uncertainty with that depth though as the league calendar turns to 2024-25.

Atop the list are Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Marchessault and two-time Stanley Cup champion, Chandler Stephenson but William Carrier, Michael Amadio, and Anthony Mantha are all set to become unrestricted free agents in 35 days, Pavel Dorofeyev still needs a new RFA contract, and Henderson standouts Byron Froese and Sheldon Rempal are also on expiring contracts.

This past season the Golden Knights used 21 different forwards in the regular season. They used 14 in the playoffs and 76-game starter Paul Cotter was not one of them. The current roster has just 13 forwards under contract who have played in an NHL game.

Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, Tomas Hertl, William Karlsson, Ivan Barbashev, Nic Roy, Brett Howden, and Keegan Kolesar are all under contract and make up eight of the 12 forward spots Vegas need to fill. It’s those other four where it gets a bit dicey.

With the cap space available, we can assume at least one of Marchessault or Stephenson will return. Whichever one, or both, will eat up a majority of Vegas’ flexibility though. This will leave them with nine, maybe 10, forward slots filled.

Here’s a mock lineup with Marchessault re-signing and every other UFA leaving for another team.

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Sportsnet Weighs In On Future Of Chandler Stephenson And Jonathan Marchessault

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We’ve been very open with our feelings about getting a deal done with unrestricted free agent Jonathan Marchessault. Sure, we know the organization would prefer to keep the 2023 Conn Smythe winner but as Vegas fans have heard over and over again, ‘hockey is a business.’ Understanding that, it’ll be a challenge getting deals done for Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson and the rest of VGK’s unrestricted free agent.

[Vegas] will be hard-pressed to re-up Marchessault, centre Chandler Stephenson and rental Anthony Mantha now that [they’ve] locked up Noah Hanifin. No one would blame the late-blooming Marchessault ($29 million in career earnings) for pulling an Alex Killorn and taking the best offer available. –Luke Fox on Sportsnet.ca

In the eyes of Vegas fans, they would like to see #81 cash in but in Las Vegas and as a Golden Knight. Sure, the fans desire isn’t necessarily VGK’s front office priorities, but they are aware of the negative attention they’ll receive if they let Marchessault walk. It will infuriate a fanbase that’s been giving almost everything they could want in seven seasons. However, a year-old Stanley Cup trophy won’t satisfy the void of the franchise’s most beloved and decorated player.

The Conn Smythe–winning Marchessault is an original Misfit integral to the defending champions’ off-ice culture and on-ice success. No doubt, in a cap-free world, the sides would be content to extend their relationship beyond this season. Yet one only need to look as far as Reilly Smith, GM Kelly McCrimmon’s 2023 cap casualty, to see the line between sentiment and business. –Fox on Sportsnet.ca

To a lesser extent, Stephenson is another Golden Knight that fans would like to see return next season. However, with only a certain amount of capital, both UFA’s are tied to one another.

The demand for both centres and proven post-season performers remains sky high in the NHL. The Detroit Red Wings splashed $25.5 million at centre J.T. Compher in 2023’s free agency, and his previous best was 52 points. Bottom line: There will be a robust market for the two-way Stephenson if he remains unsigned by July. –Fox on Sportsnet.ca

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

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas 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: SinBin.vegas 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, SinBin.vegas

The Golden Knights are defending Stanley Cup champions.

For the last 11 months here at SinBin.vegas 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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