Losing Jonathan Marchessault hurts

With the Vegas Golden Knights and Jonathan Marchessault not agreeing to a new deal, he's set to test free agency.
Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks
Vegas Golden Knights v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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*Update: Jonathan Marchessault has signed a five-year, $5.5 million AAV deal with the Nashville Predators*

Vegas Golden Knights fans received some somber news on Sunday night. Beloved Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Marchessault, couldn't agree to a new deal with the team by the 9 AM PST deadline. Therefore, he hits free agency and is set to sign with a new team. He won't return to the team, barring any last-minute changes.

It's a sad day for fans who have been with the franchise since "Day F****** One." The winger was drafted in the 2017 Expansion Draft from the Florida Panthers, coming off a 30-goal season prior. Along the way, he achieved the following accolades:

  • Conn Smythe winner
  • Stanley Cup winner
  • Fell one goal short of the all-time single-season record in 2023-24
  • 42 power play goals throughout his Vegas career
  • 61 power play assists throughout his Vegas career

It's easy to see why Golden Knights fans are saddened to see Marchessault go. He was a major piece to the team's puzzle, contributing in more ways than one. Need a power play goal to capitalize on an opportunity? Here comes No. 81. Want a clutch goal or two? The winger's the man for the job.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, especially with a hockey player who felt like a part of everyone's family. But this one stings in particular, for he was a key member of the Las Vegas community. He was quintessential in making Las Vegas a sports town, participating in numerous deep playoff runs. Why does losing Jonathan Marchessault hurt?

Jonathan Marchessault was a franchise player

Scoring 42 goals in a single season is impressive, especially with different factors added. That includes injuries and the personnel surrounding you. Luckily, Marchessault never had this problem with the Vegas Golden Knights, for he had solid teammates such as Mark Stone and Jack Eichel.

However, his impact on the franchise goes beyond simply being good for one season. The "Golden Misfit" was good for all seven years, setting franchise records.

Part of being a team staple is setting records, which he has done in more ways than one. Marchessault has dominated the stat sheet for Vegas, being the de facto offensive piece. Now, that piece is gone, leaving a void among the team.

Now, the good news is Steven Stamkos is on the market. The Tampa Bay Lightning legend is bigger than Marchessault and is also productive on the power play. However, he'll have numerous suitors coming for his services, too. Therefore, it'll be a tightrope act for Kelly McCrimmon to sign him. Still, signing Stamkos will soften the blow of losing the "Golden Misfit." However, it will still sting because...