Jonathan Marchessault Opens Up About Pending Free Agency

He's the epitome of the Vegas Golden Knights, the true fabric of the team. So what comes next for Jonathan Marchessault as his contract expires and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent?

Even though he could get himself a sweet deal on the free agent market, likely more than he can extract from the Golden Knights, according to the original 'Golden Misfit', he is not interested in playing anywhere else...from here to eternity.

"I've done everything I can to stay here," Marchessault said during Tuesday's locker cleanout day. "I know I'm a big part of the organization. I would love to stay. I was a part of the guys who started this, one of the most proud things in my life. I'm happy to be a Golden Knight and want to be one the rest of my life."

He did add, however, "but that’s not necessarily in my control.”

That, of course, is a reference to the fact that the team has to want him back first — i.e. offer him a contract that's suitable. And it's not as if he hasn't thought about it until now. 

“I thought about it all year, to be honest," said last year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner—including during the final regular season game and again after leaving the ice at T-Mobile Arena after Game 6 of their first-round series defeat, concerned it could be his last time doing so as a Golden Knight.

And Marchessault isn't the only one around Vegas that hopes he's back.  

Another original 'Golden Misfit', Brayden McNabb said he could not imagine the locker room without Marchessault. 

He did meet with Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon on Tuesday and he said the feeling of staying together appears to be mutual.

But after a late-career start to his big earning power, the 33-year-old will be looking for one more big money long-term deal, and it's unclear at this point if the team will have the cap space to do it. 

Photo: © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports