Vegas Golden Knights 2020 Free Agency: Merrill returns home to Detroit

Nate Schmidt #88 of the Vegas Golden Knights is congratulated by his teammate Jon Merrill #15. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nate Schmidt #88 of the Vegas Golden Knights is congratulated by his teammate Jon Merrill #15. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Jon Merrill is no longer a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Free Agency frenzy is firmly upon us and we are all waiting with baited breathe to see if the Vegas Golden Knights can land their White Whale in stud defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

However, in the meantime there has been some news with blueliner Jon Merrill returning home to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.

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Merrill was an Unrestricted Free Agent after being allowed to hit the open market by the Golden Knights.

And it didn’t take long for the veteran defenseman to find a new home with the 28-year-old signing a one-year, $925,000 deal with a team he grew up idolizing.

Merrill played for the Little Caesars program as a kid, before going on to the USDP and the University of Michigan.

It is a great move for the 6-foot-3, 195 lbs blueliner who was always likely to leave the Golden Knights after the 2019-20 season due to Vegas’ cap constraints and the amount of young defensemen they have coming through.

Merrill only played in one postseason game inside The Bubble for the Knights, while he finished the 2019-20 regular season with seven points (2 G, 5 A) in 49 games with a +9 rating.

In total, Merrill skated in 140 career regular season games with the Golden Knights, posting six goals and 19 assists for 25 points.

Merrill will now be part of a rebuilding team in Detroit while the Knights will hope to add a significant piece or two in order to push themselves closer to winning a Stanley Cup.

There is no news on UFA’s Deryk Engelland and Tomas Nosek who, like Merrill, are both free to sign elsewhere today, although I would be surprised if Engelland didn’t retire and take up a front office role with Vegas.

Nick Cousins is on the move, however, signing a two-year deal with the Nashville Predators with a $1.5 million Average Annual Value after the Golden Knights decided not to qualify the Unrestricted Free Agent.

It is a solid move for the bottom-six center who recorded three points (1 G, 2 A) in seven games for the Golden Knights after being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens at the Trade Deadline.

Krug would be perfect Plan B. dark. Next

What is clear, though, is that the Golden Knights are all in on Alex Pietrangelo and we likely won’t see anything else done until that situation is resolved either way.