Vegas Golden Knights have announced the departure of six players

Sep 29, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights players celebrate after defeating the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 in a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Should Vegas Golden Knights fans worry about Jonathan Marchessault leaving?

Tuesday saw some interesting comments from Jonathan Marchessault’s contract situation. Should Vegas Golden Knights fans be worried?

If you ask Vegas Golden Knights fans who their favorite player is, you’ll get a lot of Jonathan Marchessault. There will be the occasional Mark Stone, Jack Eichel, and William Karlsson that pops up. However, many people fall in love with the winger for his clutch play and infectious personality.

It’s easy to see why. The former Conn Smythe winner scored 42 goals this season, setting him up for a big pay-day. Overall, the Quebec native has 192 goals and 225 assists in seven seasons with Vegas, establishing himself as the “Original Misfit.” So he deserves to get that massive contract from the organization where he became a relevant NHL name, right?

Well, some interesting comments were coming from the Marchessault camp on Tuesday. They revealed a damning side of the state of his negotiations…or lack of.

With the revealing quote coming from one of the more prized players in free agency this offseason, it should raise some concern from Golden Knights fans regarding his return. Is this the last time fans will ever see their beloved Conn Smythe winner in Las Vegas?

The current situation for the Vegas Golden Knights

Including the LTIR money from Robin Lehner, the Vegas Golden Knight will have roughly $5.9 million in cap space to work with. However, they also have a mass exodus at the forward position, leaving them hard-pressed to fill many holes at once. It leaves general manager Kelly McCrimmon and company in a tough position to bring Jonathan Marchessault back, with little wiggle room to operate during free agency.

Of course, it’s the hidden consequence of adding big-time players such as Tomas Hertl ($6.75 million cap hit) and Noah Hanifin ($7.35 million cap hit). Still, it’s a necessary evil for a team going all-in on their Stanley Cup window. Don’t worry about free agency in the summer. Just worry about winning another Stanley Cup.

Still, that didn’t pan out, with the Dallas Stars defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in seven games in the first round. Now, there are questions about whether Marchessault is ever coming back. It’s not a fun position for the team to be in, especially when it involves a fan favorite.

Should fans start panicking?

Should fans start hitting the panic button with one of their beloved “Original Misfits” back? A little bit, considering the NHL’s a month away from the offseason starting. While there’s a window for both Jonathan Marchessault and Kelly McCrimmon to start negotiating, there needs to be some traction with the latest news.

Of course, that starts with pieces being moved out. Maybe one of the defensemen can go? Perhaps it’s Shea Theodore or even Brayden McNabb with another player? Whatever the case, McCrimmon must figure out a plan quickly if he wants to bring back the treasured winger before free agency starts.

Otherwise, it’ll become a heart-breaking loss for many fans. Losing Marchessault would be akin to losing a close friend or loved one, especially with the Quebec native putting down roots in Las Vegas. That wouldn’t be the ideal ending for either party and could even damage the contention window Vegas currently has.

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